NYS COVID-19 test positivity rates trend down: governor

By Xia Lin

NEW YORK, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Of the 215,401 COVID-19 tests made on Friday in New York State, 10,761 were positive, or 4.99 percent of the total, down from 5.41 percent one day earlier, tweeted Governor Andrew Cuomo on Saturday.

The rate announced on Friday surpassed 5 percent for the first time in months. It topped 4 percent on Nov. 28 for the first time since May and has remained above the level so far.

The COVID-19 test positivity rate in the focus areas under the state's micro-cluster strategy, where the outbreaks are targeted for their severity and potential of spread, was 6.17 percent on Friday, down from 7.35 percent on Thursday, said Cuomo.

The statewide positivity rate excluding these focus areas was 4.59 percent on Friday, down from 4.79 percent one day earlier, said the governor.

The total hospitalizations were 4,318 on Friday, up from 4,222 on Thursday, added Cuomo, who had warned that the state's COVID-19 hospitalizations could reach 6,000 in weeks based on the current trends.

"The infection rate in schools is consistently lower than in surrounding communities. Students & teachers wash their hands, wear masks & care about keeping each other safe. Many adults can't say the same," said the governor in another tweet on Saturday.

As of Saturday afternoon, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reported 34,853 coronavirus deaths in New York State, the worst in the country.

Also on Saturday, the number of confirmed cases of the pandemic was 696,125 in the state, according to New York State Department of Health COVID-19 Tracker, which had the state's lastest fatalities as 27,089, nearly 8,000 short of Johns Hopkins' figure.

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