Cuomo: 1.47% COVID-positive rate in NY the lowest since October

New York’s seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate dipped below 1.5% for the first time since late October, and hospitalizations also continued to fall, the office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Saturday.

The state’s COVID-19 numbers have been steadily improving for weeks as more New Yorkers get vaccinated. As of Friday, nearly 60% of the state’s adults had received at least one vaccine dose.

Yet positivity, hospitalization and death numbers still are above the rates seen last summer. Another 32 New Yorkers died of COVID-19 on Friday, including three Suffolk County residents and one Nassau resident. Last summer, statewide death totals were typically in the single digits.

The 1.47% seven-day positivity rate is the lowest since Oct. 28, the governor’s office said. Long Island’s seven-day rate again remained slightly below the state’s – at 1.38%. Earlier in 2021, the Island’s rate had been the highest or one of the highest rates of any region in the state.

The one-day statewide positivity rate, for Friday, increased to 1.29%, from 1.22% on Thursday. But public-health experts generally focus more on the seven-day rate, because it smooths out anomalies.

The number of coronavirus hospitalizations fell to 2,178, a decrease of 86 patients between Thursday and Friday. Less than four months ago, there were nearly 9,300 COVID-19 patients statewide, and in mid-April 2020, there were nearly 19,000.

“Even with this tremendous progress in our numbers, we still need everyone to continue practicing safe behaviors like wearing masks and social distancing to slow the spread,” Cuomo said in a statement. “And most importantly, we need every single New Yorker to get vaccinated so we can defeat COVID once and for all and begin our return to a new normal.”

The state will release new vaccination numbers later Saturday. As of Friday, 47% of adults in New York were fully vaccinated, and 59.4% had received at least one dose.

Currently, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized only for adults, and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is limited to those 16 and older. But the federal government is expected to within the next few days allow children ages 12 to 15 to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which studies show are as safe and effective with that age group as it is for young adults.

There were 3,195 coronavirus test results that came back positive Friday, including 222 in Suffolk and 178 in Nassau.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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