Positive test rates for COVID-19 continued their gradual decline in the Capital Region last week, reaching the lowest levels since December.
Schenectady County recorded a seven-day test positivity rate of 4.1 percent, according to state data updated Sunday, just north of the 4 percent mark used to determine whether schools can move forward with high-contact sports.
In Schenectady County, the latest infection rate marked the lowest since late-November, and the infection rates have steadily declined since test positivity rates topped 10 percent around Christmas. Schenectady County Manager Rory Fluman in a Sunday interview with the Daily Gazette said it was clear that the county was emerging from the most-recent, holiday-related, wave of infections.
“If you look at the waves of this virus over the past 10 months, we’re coming out of a third wave,” he said. “That’s clear.”
Saratoga County’s seven-day test positivity rate stood at 4.5 percent on Saturday, the county’s lowest level since Dec. 5 and down from a high of over 11 percent in early-December.
But Montgomery County’s test positivity rate still persisted above 8 percent, according to the state data, standing at 8.2 percent as of Saturday. The county saw its infection rate drop over the first two weeks of January but it stayed relatively flat for the second half of the month.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a Sunday conference call with reporters noted that the statewide test positivity rate had also reached its lowest level since December but said he was still preparing for new variants to cause another uptick in cases.
“In the here and now all the news is good,” Cuomo said. “Today’s news is very good, but keep an eye on the UK variant and all other variants.”
Union College closed out a two-week campus quarantine Friday night as new cases on campus continued to slide last week. After the college discovered more students with COVID-19 in the first few days of their return to campus in early-January, college officials imposed the campus quarantine, barring students from leaving campus for most reasons. New cases at Union have slowed in recent weeks, officials said in a Friday update. While the college registered 26 new students cases during the week of Jan. 17, officials reported just eight new cases between Jan. 24-29.
“After an initial spike, reducing the number of cases was a top priority,” Union College President David Harris said in a Friday update to students. “With your help, we have accomplished this critical goal.”
Harris, though, warned that infections still remain high and urged continued vigilance among students and staff.