covid testing
A man is tested for Covid-19 at a mobile testing unit, as pedestrians make their way in the sidewalk during the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Manhattan, New York, U.S., December 8, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

By Isabel Song Beer

As the Omicron variant continues to spread, New York State reported a nearly 20% Covid-19 positivity rate on Monday, with Long Island documenting an average 16.26% positivity rate over the last seven days.

Gov. Kathy Hochul updated New Yorkers Dec. 28 with the latest Covid related data indicating the continued rapid transmission of Covid-19. Seventy-seven deaths were reported statewide Tuesday, with an additional 647 hospitalizations.

“With just three days left in the year, let’s make a New Year’s resolution to beat this pandemic in 2022,” said Hochul in a statement Tuesday. “Let’s start by celebrating New Year’s safely this weekend. Before visiting friends and family, please get yourself tested and make sure you are vaccinated and boosted, if eligible.”

This data comes as New Yorkers are simultaneously experiencing long wait times for testing, difficulty booking appointments for vaccinations, and a surge of travel and gathering during the holiday season.

As the New Year approaches, the pandemic continues to spread nationwide. The Omicron variant brings an additional concern to the battle against this virus, and it is clear that New Yorkers and Americans alike do not want to enter a third year of the Covid-era, as addressed by Hochul in her statement Tuesday.

“If we all do what’s right, we can make 2022 a very different year from the hardships we’ve had to endure so far.” said Hochul.

The average number of daily Covid-19 cases in the United States has hit a record high of 258,312 over the past seven days, according to a Reuters tally.

The previous peak for the seven-day moving average was a figure of 250,141 recorded on Jan. 8 of this year.

States showing the highest daily infection numbers on Tuesday included New York, which reported as many as 40,780 cases, and California, which reported over 30,000. Texas reported more than 17,000 cases and Ohio over 15,000.

The Omicron variant was estimated to make up 58.6% of the coronavirus variants circulating in the United States as of Dec. 25, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday.

-With Reuters (Reporting by Aparupa Mazumder in Bangalore; Writing by Keith Weir; Editing by Gareth Jones)

For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus.

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