New York’s COVID-19 positivity rate fell to its lowest level since Nov. 23 on Friday, the office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said — but the identification of 54 new cases of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus signals the risks that remain.
The 3.06% single-day positivity rate is the lowest since three days before the Thanksgiving holiday, which experts say — along with December holidays — helped fuel a rise in infections because of an increase in at-home gatherings. The rate has been steadily falling since Jan. 5, when 8.4% of test results were positive.
The seven-day positivity rate — which epidemiologists often focus on because it smooths out daily anomalies — dropped for the 43rd consecutive day on Friday, to 3.53%, the governor’s office said.
Long Island had the second-highest seven-day rate: 4.31%. New York City’s was highest, at 4.4%.
Hospitalizations dropped below 6,000 for the first time since Dec. 14, to 5,977, down 178 from Thursday.
Another 97 New Yorkers died of COVID-19 on Friday, including nine Suffolk County residents and eight Nassau County residents.
The number of confirmed cases of the “U.K. variant” of the coronavirus surged on Friday, from 82 to 136. Two of the 54 new cases were in Suffolk and one was in Nassau, with 46 in New York City.
Experts fear that the spread of this other, more contagious variant, could increase the spread of the virus.
Of the 7,692 people whose test results were positive on Friday, 602 were in Nassau and 602 were in Suffolk.
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