NYS COVID-19 test positivity rate in focus areas tops 5 pct: governor

The COVID-19 test positivity rate in the focus areas under New York state’s micro-cluster strategy, where the outbreaks are targeted for their severity and potential of spread, was 5.28 percent on Tuesday, up from 4.13 percent one day earlier, said Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday.

This is the first time that the rate has surpassed the level of 5 percent since mid-October, according to the statistics released by the state government.

Meanwhile, the statewide positivity rate excluding these focus areas was 3.04 percent, up from 2.62 percent on Monday; the overall statewide positivity rate with all the focus areas was 3.62 percent on Tuesday, up from 2.96 percent one day earlier, said Cuomo at his press conference held on Wednesday.

Total hospitalizations were at 2,982 on Tuesday, up by 126 over Monday, said the governor, who has predicted that overall state COVID-19 hospitalizations could reach 6,000 in three weeks based on the current trends.

In addition, the governor on Wednesday once again warned of a spike in COVID-19 cases during the ongoing holiday season, as people tend to travel a lot to reunite with families and friends and celebrate. Discipline and social responsibility are ever more important and crucial at this time, he said.

Some 24 percent of the people who give COVID-19 to someone else never develop symptoms, and 35 percent of the people who give COVID-19 to someone else are pre-symptomatic, the governor quoted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as saying.

The state still ranked the fourth lowest state in COVID-19 test positivity rate, with 2.90 percent on a seven-day average, after Vermont, Hawaii and Maine, added the governor, quoting the figures from Johns Hopkins University.

As of Wednesday noon, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reported 34,362 coronavirus deaths in New York state, the worst in the country.