State surpasses 40 million COVID tests, nears 1.7 million positive results

State Department of Health personnel conduct COVID testing at Saratoga Spa State Park in January.

State Department of Health personnel conduct COVID testing at Saratoga Spa State Park in January.

ALBANY — New York state has surpassed 40 million COVID tests administered in the past year, with just under 1.7 million of them coming back positive.

The exact numbers Wednesday morning were 40,221,686 tests and 1,699,817 positives. But the virus remains at a relative lull in New York state, with the seven-day positive test rate at 3.1%, down from a recent peak of 7.9% in early January.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday marked the continued progress with another incremental reopening of restaurants for indoor dining. He announced Sunday that restaurants outside New York City could go to 75% capacity on March 19, and said Wednesday that New York City restaurants could go to 50% capacity the same date.

Two full COVID incubation periods have passed with no increase in infection or hospitalization in New York City since indoor dining was reopened there Feb. 12, Cuomo noted.

But as always, he cautioned continued vigilance.

“While we are making progress with vaccinations and the statewide infection rate has dropped significantly, we cannot afford to get cocky with this virus,” he said in a prepared statement. “We must retain our progress by continuing to be vigilant and work with local leaders to get more shots into arms.”

In other news Wednesday:

  • The COVID death toll has leveled off in nursing homes after a terrible year. In the eight-county Capital Region, where 80% of residents and 58% of employees have been vaccinated, only two resident deaths have been reported in the last week, compared with 532 in the previous 52 weeks. Both who died were residents of Wesley Health Care Center in Saratoga Springs, scene of a late-2020 outbreak that infected over 130 residents. As of Wednesday, the facility reports it is down to zero resident infections and one employee infection.
  • Statewide, the nursing home death toll inched up from 13,601 to 13,672 from March 2 to March 9. About 72% of the statewide nursing home population is vaccinated.
  • The seven-day positive COVID test rate stood at 1.9% in the Capital Region and 1.5% in the Mohawk Valley. At the county level, the rate was Albany 2.2%, Fulton 3.4%, Montgomery 3.0%, Rensselaer 1.2%, Saratoga 2.3%, Schenectady 1.9% and Schoharie 1.4%.
  • The number of people hospitalized with COVID in the Capital Region is back below 100 for the first time since Nov. 7 — 95 as of Tuesday. Statewide, the total was 4,978, the fewest since Dec. 8.
  • Fifty-eight new COVID-related deaths, one of them in Schenectady County, brought the official state death toll to 39,230.

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County

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