ALBANY — COVID is continuing a weeks-long retreat in upstate New York, to the point where the region now has fewer new cases per capita than the nation as a whole.
Just six weeks ago, the 57 counties outside New York City had a higher per-capita rate of confirmed new infections than any state but Vermont. As of Friday, 21 other states had higher rates, federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicate.
The eight-county Capital Region saw a recent peak on May 16 of 57.0 new infections per day per 100,000 residents, on a seven-day rolling average. That number was down to 26.7 on June 2.
Hospitalization is down sharply as well. The COVID-positive patient census at Capital Region hospitals peaked at 232 on May 17 and was down to 160 on June 2.
Gov. Kathy Hochul cheered the progress in a statement Friday, and urged New Yorkers to keep it going by continuing to test, vaccinate and boost.
“While we continue to see numbers head in the right direction, we aren’t letting our guard down when it comes to boosting our preparedness for any potential surges later this year,” she said. “Test often, especially if you are experiencing symptoms, and if you test positive, talk to your doctor about available treatments.”
New Yorkers have been testing. Over 111 million lab test results have been compiled by the state as it tracked the pandemic over the last 27 months.
Tens of millions of non-lab tests have been administered as well. Hochul on Tuesday announced that the state had handed out more than 80 million self-test kits, and additional millions have been sold or given to New Yorkers through other channels.
The proliferation of these self-test kits has reduced the accuracy of some measures of the pandemic, as the state doesn’t tally their results and not everyone who tests positive at home reports it to their local health department or follows up with a lab test.
The state Department of Health reports the following number of lab-confirmed positive tests per day per 100,000 residents in area counties on the rolling average:
- Albany: 26.4
- Fulton: 29.6
- Montgomery 22.8
- Rensselaer: 25.7
- Saratoga: 24.0
- Schenectady: 35.8
- Schoharie: 13.8
These are the COVID patient counts in area hospitals as of Thursday, and about 40% of the patients were admitted for reasons other than COVID or its complications:
- Albany Medical Center: 56
- Cobleskill: 1
- Ellis: 15
- Glens Falls: 28
- Nathan Littauer: 1
- St. Mary’s Healthcare: 5
- St. Peter’s: 24
- Saratoga: 15
The percentage of total population in area counties that has had at least one dose of COVID vaccine and the percentage of eligible population that has had a booster shot is:
- Albany: 81.5% 63.9%
- Fulton: 55.7% 58.1%
- Montgomery: 70.7% 58.4%
- Rensselaer: 73.9% 62.2%
- Saratoga: 80.5% 66.7%
- Schenectady: 86.4% 62.7%
- Schoharie: 62.0% 61.0%