New York’s fight against COVID-19 gained new hope on Sunday, as the state’s positive infection rate reached an almost three-month low.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state’s rate of infection dipped to 2.99 percent on Sunday, the first time the rate has been below 3.00 percent since November 23.
Since then, cases have surged around the holidays, and new, more contagious variants have spread.
‘We continue to see a reduction in positivity and hospitalizations throughout the state, which is good news, and this progress is allowing us to reopen the valve on our economy even further,’ Cuomo said in a statement on Sunday.
The seven-day rolling average, represented by the orange line, is a tick higher across the state, currently at 3.44 percent. The blue bars represent people tested, while the yellow bars represent positive tests
Amid the vaccination effort, New York is reporting a three-month low infection rate
The infection rate in New York is 2.99 percent, the lowest in the state since November 23
Of 221,157 tests conducted the previous day, just 6,610 came back positive for COVID-19.
The seven-day positivity rate is slightly higher for the state at 3.44 percent, but that will likely decline if the daily infection rate remains low.
Despite the positive news for infection rates, there were 75 new deaths on Saturday, raising the state’s death toll to 37,851.
There’s also concern after Cuomo confirmed the first case of the South African variant in the state, which involves a Nassau County resident.
Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted out the hospitalization rate, which is down recently
Governor Cuomo celebrated the good news, but warned of the South Africa variant
Around seven percent of the state has received their full vaccination series so far
It comes a week after a Connecticut resident in New York City was also hospitalized with the same variant.
‘With the discovery of a case of the South African variant in the state, it’s more important than ever for New Yorkers to stay vigilant, wear masks, wash hands and stay socially distanced,’ Cuomo said.
‘We are in a race right now — between our ability to vaccinate and these variants which are actively trying to proliferate — and we will only win that race if we stay smart and disciplined.’
Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens will open as vaccination centers on Wednesday.
They will instantly become two of the biggest vaccination centers in the entire state.
There are vaccines that have gone unused across the country as the COVID fight continues
The Department of Health reported Sunday that over 2.42 million first doses have been distributed in the state, with 1.28 million receiving both shots.
Around seven percent of people in the state are receiving full vaccine protection.
It’s known that the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has not been approved in the United States, is less effective against the South Africa strain.
It’s not as clear how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will perform against the rising variant.
New York City is running low on vaccines, down to less than 1,000 due to the winter storms captivating the nation and hamstringing vaccine distribution.
Up to 35,000 first dose vaccinations in the city could not be scheduled due to the shipment delays.
Meanwhile, restrictions in the city are beginning to loosen around indoor dining and nursing home visits, under the direction of Cuomo, who remains under fire after allegedly undercounting the amount of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.
A recent study from the Empire Center for Public Policy suggested Cuomo’s original mandate regarding nursing homes, which was in effect for a month and a half, may have contributed to up to 1,000 deaths in nursing homes.
Cuomo is set to begin allowing visits to nursing homes, though CDC health guidelines will need to be followed.
Additionally, indoor dining resumed in the city over Valentine’s Day weekend, with capacity expected to increase to 35 percent by the end of the week.
In the United States, there have been over 28 million COVID-19 cases, with the death toll officially at 498,514 and expected to surpass 500,000 in the coming days.
Nationally, over 63.1 million vaccines have been administered so far.
Across the United States, the death toll from COVID-19 is inching towards 500,000 lives