New York’s daily COVID positivity rate surges to almost 20%
Almost one-in-five New Yorkers who took COVID tests received positive results in the latest batch of daily statewide data, a staggering reflection of the spread of the omicron strain.
The state logged 40,780 new COVID cases on Tuesday, according to Gov. Hochul’s office, with 27,774 cropping up in New York City.
The latest case count marked a drop from a recent peak — statewide daily cases almost reached 50,000 going into Christmas — but overall testing surged ahead of the holiday, skewing the figures.
The daily positivity rate stood at 19.3% on Tuesday, and the seven-day average climbed to 13.4%, according to the governor’s office.
While the heavily mutated omicron strain may cause less severe illness, on average, its lightning-quick spread has generated staffing shortages for essential services like hospitals and transportation systems.
Meanwhile, the sheer scope of the surge figures to pour patients into medical centers.
The statewide hospitalization rate has spiked by more than 100% in December, according to state figures. The state logged 647 new admissions on Tuesday.
“With just three days left in the year, let’s make a New Year’s resolution to beat this pandemic in 2022,” Hochul said in a statement. “Let’s start by celebrating New Year’s safely this weekend.”
“Before visiting friends and family, please get yourself tested and make sure you are vaccinated and boosted, if eligible,” the statement added.
Hochul joined Mayor de Blasio and Mayor-elect Eric Adams on Tuesday morning in a news conference to outline their plans to keep schools open when classes resume next week.
The governor has expressed hopes that the steep winter rise in cases will prove brief, and she has urged New Yorkers to mask up and avoid indoor gatherings when possible.
“Please remember to wear a mask,” she said in her statement. “If we all do what’s right, we can make 2022 a very different year from the hardships we’ve had to endure so far.”