Western New York saw its positivity rate in coronavirus testing fall somewhat on Sunday, down to 1.1% from 1.4% the two previous days.
WNY, which had been at or close to the highest positivity rate of the state’s regions for several days, had the fourth-highest rate on Sunday. Mid-Hudson was nearly 2%, Central New York was 1.4% and Long Island was 1.2% (New York City was also 1.1%).
New York state’s overall positivity rate without the so-called red zone focus areas included was 1.05% for Sunday’s test results. The state’s overall positivity rate was 1.12%, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday.
In the red zone areas, the positivity rate for test results Sunday was 3.70%, down from the 6.13% average from last week. However, the governor noted, the weekend test results are often not reflective true levels of new infection and testing results over the next days will help show the impact of recent efforts to combat outbreaks in downstate counties.
Cuomo said the red zone areas are home to 2.8% of the state’s population, yet had 17.6% of all positive cases reported last week.
“In New York our strategy is to identify micro-clusters,” Cuomo said in his daily COVID-19 press release. “We do more testing than any other state, so we have more data. We also are obsessive about getting incoming case numbers from the hospitals.”
He said experts map those cases and find the greatest predominance of new infection in a geographic area — a “micro-cluster.”
“Three percent in a lot of states would be a safe zone — in New York, we consider it a micro-cluster,” the governor said. “So we are doing very targeted analysis because we have so much testing capacity, and we will continue to let the data and science drive our approach to keeping the virus in check.”
The governor’s office provided a comparison between New York and other states with regard to COVID-19 data. With the state averaging more than 190,000 tests per day, its seven-day average of positive tests was 1.17% — Illinois, with far less testing, was at 4.2%; Texas, 7.6%; North Carolina, 6%; Florida, 11.6%; and neighboring Pennsylvania, 7.8%.
There were 12 more deaths Sunday in New York due to COVID-19, pushing the state’s confirmed total to 25,587. At the height of the pandemic in April, between 700 and 800 New Yorkers were dying each day.
Patient hospitalizations totaled 878 on Sunday, up 58 from Saturday, while there were 122 newly admitted patients Sunday. There were 185 (-1) patients in ICUs across the state, with 86 (+2) patients with intubation.
Of the 122 new hospital admissions Sunday, Cuomo’s office indicated that 40% were from the hot spot areas in downstate — Orange and Rockland counties and Brooklyn and Queens — and parts of the Southern Tier, where recent upticks and clusters have developed, including in Broome, Chemung and Steuben counties.
The state is deploying additional community testing resources to these areas over the next days, the governor said.