NY virus infection rate continues to trend low

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, shown here in this file photo, announced on Friday that New York's COVID-19 positivity rate has now remained below 1% for 35 straight days. 

New York state's rate of positive COVID-19 cases continues to trend in a positive direction.

In Western New York, however, the latest numbers are not quite as encouraging. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the state's virus infection rate remained below 1% for a 35th straight day. According to Cuomo's office, .98% of COVID-19 tests were positive on Thursday, the same day the state reported five more deaths from the disease.

As he has on several occasions in recent weeks, Cuomo credited the state's low virus infection rate to New Yorkers wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing their hands while local governments continue to enforce guidelines endorsed by the state's public health experts. 

"When informed citizens stay safe and play by the rules, 35 straight days with an infection rate below 1 percent is what you get," he said. "Now we have to stay New York Tough and maintain a vigilant attitude so we don't go back to the hell we experienced."

The lone sore spot where infection rates in New York are concerned continues to be Western New York, a region where Cuomo has applied a "caution flag" on several occasions in recent weeks.

Again on Thursday, the region's positivity rate moved in the wrong direction to 1.5%, up from 1.2% a day earlier. Western New York's rate has been above 1% for weeks now. On Friday, it was reported as the highest rate of any region in New York. 

In Niagara County, health department officials on Friday reported five more positive cases, bringing the total to date in the county to 1,660. Officials reported 42 active cases, with 40 resident isolating at home and two more having been hospitalized. To date, 1,517 Niagara County residents have recovered from the virus. No additional deaths have been reported since last month. The total of virus-related deaths in the county remains at 101. 



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