NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised New Yorkers on Saturday for staying the course as coronavirus infection rates continued to decline to fresh, nearly three-month lows.
Even though COVID rates are declining a bit slower than elsewhere and New York City is lagging, Cuomo said, better days are ahead as more and more people get vaccinated.
“New Yorkers have shown strength and resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re going to need more of it as we work to get everyone vaccinated across the state,” he said. “The footrace between the positivity rate and the vaccination rate is progressing in our favor.”
The statewide positive test rate dipped Friday to 2.85%, taking the weeklong average to 3.17%, the lowest it’s been since Thanksgiving.
There were 5,445 New Yorkers hospitalized with COVID, the lowest total since mid-December.
Another 85 people died from the deadly virus, a total that has remained stubbornly high even as other metrics have steadily improved.
Fifty-four of the deaths were New York City residents, including 18 from Queens and 15 from Brooklyn. The five boroughs continue a recent trend of being hit the hardest even as statewide numbers drop.
The positivity test rate remains very high in the city, especially in the Bronx, where 5.56% of tests came back positive. Manhattan is the only borough where the rate is lower than the state’s average.
The rapid nationwide improvement after the holiday surge has recently leveled off in many parts of the country.
Public health experts are warning lawmakers against lifting social distancing and mask requirements too soon, fearing a fresh upturn in infections.
Doctors hope that the stepped-up vaccination campaign can keep the pandemic on the back foot before more contagious strains of the virus spread.
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