Cuomo: COVID-19 Cases Slowly Ease Statewide, But NYC Still Lags

NEW YORK (New York Daily News/TNS) -
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo/TNS)

Coronavirus infection rates and caseloads continue to drop slowly in New York state even as the numbers in the city stay too high for comfort, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

The number of New Yorkers hospitalized with the deadly virus dropped below 5,000 Friday to a level not seen in three months.

And the positive test rate for COVID dipped to 2.8%, the lowest since before Thanksgiving.

“We still have a lot of work to do to defeat this beast once and for all,” Cuomo said.

Another 78 New Yorkers died Friday, including 43 in the five boroughs, numbers that has remained stubbornly high even as other metrics improve.

New York City remains the worst-hit area in the state as infection rates decline faster upstate. All the outer boroughs have positivity rates exceeding the statewide average with the Bronx logging in at a dangerous 5.1%.

Like many states, New York has seen dramatic declines from the heights of the holiday surge at the end of December and beginning of January.

But the declines have mostly stalled in recent weeks and most metrics have largely leveled off.

Public health officials worry that new more-contagious strains of COVID could spark a new surge even as millions of people receive vaccines.