New York just had its worst COVID-19 day since May 1
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo lays out his state's draft Vaccine Administration Program, which the state would like to guide the distribution of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine; Oct. 19, 2020. New York State Team
ALBANY – New York had more new positive coronavirus cases Monday than on any single day since May 1, while hospitalizations are at their highest level since mid-June, according to state data released Tuesday.
COVID-19 is on the rise in New York and throughout the country, with New York's infection rate lower than all but a handful of states across the nation.
But the increase in New York remains significant, with some areas of the state seeing more daily coronavirus infections than they have at any point during the infection.
New York's latest daily COVID-19 numbers, released Tuesday and based on tests processed Monday, were at or near six-month highs, including:
- 3,495 new COVID-19 cases, the highest mark since 4,663 tested positive May 1
- 1,548 current COVID-19 hospitalizations, more than at any point since June 16 (1,479)
- 32 deaths, which pushed the state's cumulative total to 26,005 confirmed COVID-19 deaths
"While we may be tired of COVID, it is not tired of us," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Tuesday. "It's clear that COVID fatigue and a lack of compliance leads to viral spread, so it's more important than ever that as we prepare for winter."
Numbers increasing across state, country
New York's latest COVID-19 numbers are far better off than the state was in March and April, when the state regularly had more than 8,000 people a day test positive at a time when testing was far more scarce than it is now.
But the numbers are clearly on the rise.
Over the past week, New York had about 16 average daily new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, far higher than the 3 or so the state averaged each day in July and August.
The infection rate was above 20 per 100,000 residents in five of the state's 10 regions: Western New York (which includes Buffalo), Finger Lakes (which includes Rochester), the Mid-Hudson, the Southern Tier and Central New York, according to state data.
The Finger Lakes, Western New York and Central New York all had more positive COVID-19 cases Monday than they have ever had in a single day before.
Some of that is due to increased testing: The state tests more than 100,000 people a day now, up from between 20,000 and 30,000 a day in early May.
But it's not entirely that: The state's positive test percentage has steadily increased in recent weeks, topping out at 3.1% on Monday.
For the prior week, the state averaged a 2.1% positivity rate. The week before that, the rate was 1.6%.
Cuomo has resisted statewide restrictions
New York ranks among the bottom five states in post test positivity and the number of positive cases per 100,000 residents, however.
As of Sunday's data, North Dakota had the highest infection rate, averaging more than 177 daily positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.
So far, Cuomo has resisted increasing any statewide COVID-19 restrictions, though a strict gathering limit of 50 people remains in place, as do a statewide mask mandate and restrictions on indoor capacity.
Instead, Cuomo has opted for what he calls a "micro-cluster" approach, in which specific areas of the state with high infection rates are hit with targeted, tougher restrictions.
On Monday, Cuomo declared "yellow" zones — the least restrictive cluster areas — in Erie, Onondaga and Monroe counties, joining previously declared clusters in Chemung, Broome and Steuben counties as well as parts of New York City and the Hudson Valley.
Jon Campbell is a New York state government reporter for the USA TODAY Network. He can be reached at JCAMPBELL1@Gannett.com or on Twitter at @JonCampbellGAN.
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