ALBANY — New York state continued to slide backwards in its fight against COVID Tuesday, with a 10% jump in hospitalizations in a single day and double-digit positive test rates reported in multiple counties.
The Delta variant of COVID-19, more easily transmittable than the strains that sickened and killed so many people in 2020, is blamed for the uptick — only 58% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated, and scientists believe vaccinated people are able to transmit the disease to the one third of New Yorkers who have not received any vaccine.
The vaccine is free and it has been available for months with no appointment or delay but acceptance has dropped off substantially from early spring. Most of those who wanted to be vaccinated likely have been; the rest are ineligible or reluctant or steadfastly opposed to the vaccine.
But the uptick in new infections during the summer of 2021 — after summer 2020 saw new infections slow to a trickle — may be changing minds. Nearly 303,000 doses were administered in New York in the last seven days, sharply higher than the one-week totals reported in July.
“The Delta variant is threatening to hamper our ability to rebuild and revitalize New York for the future, and getting shots in arms is the surest way out of the COVID crisis,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday in a news release.
The following data were reported by state and county departments of health on Tuesday:
- The statewide COVID-positive hospital patient census jumped from 1,225 Sunday to 1,345 Monday.
- On a rolling seven-day average, 4.5% of COVID tests were coming back positive in the eight-county Capital Region as of Monday, the highest among the state’s 10 regions.
- The single-day average, which is a less-useful metric of the COVID pandemic due to one-time spikes, was 8.4% in Schenectady County on Monday, 10.3% in Schoharie County and 15.1% in Montgomery County; each reported 0.0% on multiple days in June.
- In Schenectady County, 83.5% of the adult population was at least partially vaccinated as of Tuesday, the second-highest rate in the state after Nassau County (84.0%).
- Fulton County had the lowest rates of at least partial vaccination in the state Tuesday: 54.1%.
- Seventeen new COVID-related deaths were recorded statewide Monday, one of them in Schenectady County.
- The numbers of new infections are much smaller than the post-holiday surge in early 2021: 15,355 on Jan. 9 vs. 3,222 on Aug. 9.
- The numbers of new infections are much higher than the late-spring lull in 2021: 566 on June 9 vs. 3,222 on Aug. 9.
- Seven-day positive test rates as of Tuesday were: New York state, 3.0%; Capital Region, 4.4%; Mohawk Valley, 3.8%; Albany County, 5.1%; Fulton County, 3.2%; Montgomery County, 7.1%; Rensselaer County, 3.9%; Saratoga County, 4.6%; Schenectady County, 5.5%; Schoharie County, 7.8%.
- Breakthrough infections — new COVID infections afflicting fully vaccinated people — continue to increase. Saratoga County reports 43.4% of new infections recorded in the past seven days are breakthrough, while neighboring Warren County indicated a gradual monthlong increase in breakthrough infections.
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