Long Island’s Covid-19 positivity rate, meaning the percent of people who tested positive out of all those who got tested, is at 5.47 percent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.
This is the highest of all regions in the state; however, also like the rest of the state, virus cases are on the decline. Long Island also has the highest percent of hospitalized Covid-19 patients — 1,339 people, or .05 percent of the population.
“Not dramatically higher, but higher,” Cuomo said during his briefing, “and we’ve been seeing this for the past couple of weeks. Again, it’s relative. All the numbers are coming down, but we focus on the highest numbers in our state.”
Cases have been falling since mid-January, a trend Cuomo has called the “post-holiday surge.” Experts are urging caution, however, due to new Covid-19 variants. At least three new variants of the novel coronavirus are circulating in the United States, including the UK variant B.1.1.7 that is 30 to 40 percent more contagious, according to researchers.
“I’m asking everyone to please keep your guard up,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Monday. “The continued proliferation of variants remains a great concern and is a threat that could reverse the recent positive trends we are seeing.”
New York health officials have found about 60 cases of the UK variant statewide. The first case was found in early January.
Cuomo said the state must learn to “walk and chew gum” by balancing the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, limiting the spread of the virus, and beginning to reopen the economy.
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