Capital Region

COVID cases continue downward trend

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Coronavirus cases continue to trend downward across the state just weeks after the number of reported cases reached all-time highs on a near daily basis.

Of the 244,679 COVID tests reported throughout the state on Saturday, 19,186, or 7.84%, came back positive, according to the latest state data released Sunday. The state now has a positive test average of 10.5% over the last seven days — a 50% reduction compared to earlier this month.

On Jan. 10, the state had a seven-day positive test rate of 20.9%, according to data. Seven-day averages are considered more accurate when tracking the virus since they account for any day-to-day variables associated with testing.

Statewide, 130.3 cases per 100,000 residents have been reported on average over the last seven days. That’s 52% less than the seven-day average of 271 reported a week earlier on Jan. 15.

The numbers are an indication that the winter surge, fueled by holiday gatherings and the highly infectious omicron variant, is likely coming to an end, though Gov. Kathy Hochul urged New Yorkers to remain vigilant, get vaccinated and continue wearing a mask.

“Our hard work to confront the winter surge is paying off, but there is no time to let up,” she said in a statement Sunday.

Health officials have warned that hospitalizations and deaths will lag behind decreasing caseloads, though on Saturday, virus-related hospitalizations were also trending downward as well.

A total of 6.56 new patients per 100,000 residents were admitted to hospitals with the virus on Saturday, a 23% reduction from a week ago when 8.87 per 100,000 were being hospitalized, according to state data.

The numbers are down in all regions of the state, though Long Island and New York City — which previously led the state in reported cases — saw the largest declines.

Still, hospitals across the state remain inundated with COVID patients, a dire situation further exacerbated by staffing shortages.

On Friday, Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville diverted emergency room patients to St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam for an 18-hour period due to a lack of capacity.

Both hospitals were ordered to stop performing elective and non-emergency surgeries earlier this month by the state’s Department of Health due to a lack of bed capacity.

A total of 134 New Yorkers died from the virus on Saturday, including a Fulton County resident, according to state data.

Here is a look at the latest seven-day positive test rates:

Capital Region

The Capital Region is averaging 130.9 cases per 100,000 residents over the last seven days and a positive test rate of 13.7% during that same period.

That includes Albany County (118.7, 13.1%); Saratoga County (139.9, 15.9%); and Schenectady County (152.7, 11.9%).

The region has averaged 5.2 new COVID-related hospital patients per 100,000 residents over the last seven days, down from 5.79 on Jan. 15.

Mohawk Valley

In the Mohawk Valley, an average of 138.7 cases per 100,000 residents have been reported in the last seven days, a positive test rate of 13.4%.

The region includes Fulton County (155.1, 18.4%); Montgomery County (161.2, 19.1%); and Schoharie County (136.4, 19.1%).

New COVID-related hospital patients have declined from an average of 5 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period on Jan. 15 to 4.59 on Saturday.

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: 518-410-5117 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.

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