Hospitalizations in New York due to COVID-19 have more than doubled over the last month, with the state reporting more than 1,000 hospitalizations Friday for the first time in four months.
Hospitalizations were up to 1,023 on Thursday, according to data released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday. Exactly one month ago Friday, hospitalizations were at 490 in New York.
Cuomo has attributed the rise in hospitalizations to a series of so-called microclusters of the virus in pockets across the state, but largely concentrated in Brooklyn, Queens, the Southern Tier and the lower Hudson Valley.
He’s divided those clusters into different zones, each with varying new restrictions on mass gatherings, houses of worship, schools, restaurants, and nonessential businesses.
New York conducted more than 18,000 diagnostic COVID-19 tests in those zones Thursday, according to the data, and reported a positivity rate of 2.31% — down from 3.16% on Wednesday.
Statewide, the positivity rate also saw a slight decline. It was down to 1.15% Thursday, according to the data. It was at 1.2% on Wednesday, with a seven-day rolling average of 1.23%.
“In New York, we are attacking microclusters where we see them, and that will be our strategy through this season as we see microclusters come and go,” Cuomo said in a statement.
An area of Chemung County, where there’s been a considerable outbreak of the virus in recent weeks, reported the highest positivity rate in the state at 5.7%. That’s only the part of the county that the state has designated as a microcluster zone.
Countywide, Chemung added 54 new cases of the disease Thursday, according to the data. Further east, Broome County reported 96 new cases of the disease — more than any other county in upstate New York.
There were 11 new confirmed deaths in New York from COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the statewide total to 25,705 over the course of the pandemic.
Dan Clark is host/producer of New York Now.