The statewide COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to 1.49% on Saturday, falling below 1.5% for the first time since Oct. 28.
New York’s seven-day average positivity rate also fell to 1.84%, the lowest since Nov. 6.
The numbers aren’t quite as good in Western New York, which is sitting at a seven-day average of 3.38% — the highest of any region in the state. trailing the Finger Lake region’s 2.81% seven-day positivity rate.
"Every single day, New York State is moving forward in the footrace between the infection rate and the vaccination rate. More New Yorkers are getting vaccinated and hospitalizations are declining, which is good news, but we need New Yorkers to stay vigilant to make sure we don't lose any of the progress we've made," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "Washing hands, wearing masks and staying socially distanced are critical behaviors each of us can practice, individually and in our communities, to slow the spread. In the meantime, New York is continuing to make the vaccine more accessible and open more pop-up sites. Spring is here and we're making progress, but there's a way to go before we reach the light at the end of the tunnel."
In Niagara County, health officials announced the death of another resident to COVID-19. There have now been 324 COVID-19 deaths in Niagara since the pandemic began.
In addition, 70 new positive cases in Niagara County were reported on Friday. There were 482 active COVID-19 cases in Niagara County as of Friday, with 19 hospitalized. More than 18,000 county residents have recovered from Covid.
In terms of vaccinations, Cuomo said more than 1.2 million doses were administered across the state over the past seven days. The week 20 allocation of 1,419,795 first and second doses was expected to finish arriving Sunday.
"Our progress in beating back this virus has allowed us to slowly reopen our state and, if more people get vaccinated and the overall metrics continue to move in the right direction, we are optimistic that we can stay on this trajectory." Cuomo said. "We cannot afford to get cocky, nor can we get lax in our vaccination efforts. … I remind all New Yorkers who still need to get the vaccine that it's the only way to show support for our health providers who work tirelessly to get shot into people's arms - and for everyone in their community who is vulnerable to this virus."
As of Sunday morning, 93,829 Niagara County residents had received at least the first dose of vaccine. That’s 44.6% of the county’s population. In Erie County, 48.8% of the population has received a first dose. In Orleans county, that number is 35%.
All New York state mass vaccination sites are now open to eligible New Yorkers for walk-in vaccination on a first come, first serve basis. The walk-in appointments are reserved for first doses only with second doses to be scheduled automatically after administration of the initial shot.
In addition, all vaccine providers are encouraged to allow walk-in appointments for eligible New Yorkers. People who would prefer to schedule an appointment at a state-run mass vaccination site can do so on the Am I Eligible App or by calling 1-833-NYS-4-VAX. People may also contact their local health department, pharmacy, doctor or hospital to schedule appointments where vaccines are available, or visit vaccinefinder.org to find information on vaccine appointments near them.