New York's weekly tally of COVID-19 cases ticked up about 8% last week, as many counties outside New York City faced higher coronavirus risk levels and spikes in other viral infections among children nationally prompted public health alerts.
New York reported 34,988 COVID-19 cases in the week ending Sunday, up from 32,513 cases the prior week.
New York ranked fourth among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows.
Nationally, COVID-19 cases held flat at nearly 401,500 reported last week. Across the country, 17 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.
In New York, some counties across the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier and Hudson Valley faced double-digit increases in COVID-19 cases last week, as people spent more time gathered indoors where viruses spread more easily. For example, Orange and Monroe counties faced weekly case spikes of 31% and 24%, respectively.
Meanwhile, federal health officials recently warned the wave of viral infections in general among children is expected to be worse this year than the last two years, following relaxation of mask mandates and other preventive measures against COVID-19.
But New York's decision to stop requiring schools to report COVID-19 cases this year has removed a key tool in tracking that virus' spread among children and teachers. State officials have said they would consider changing COVID-19 reporting requirements if conditions worsened.
Large swaths of New York currently sit in the "medium risk" category under federal coronavirus guidelines after spending much of the summer at a "low risk" level. The risk assessment is based on COVID-19 infection rates and strain on local health systems.
Only five counties − Oswego, Fulton, Montgomery, Putnam and Suffolk − fell into the high-risk category. State and federal health officials urged people to wear masks indoors in public spaces in high-risk counties, regardless of vaccination status, to help curb the virus' spread.
In New York, 144 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday, down from 191 deaths the prior week. But the weekly tally of COVID-19 hospitalizations leaped to about 3,870 patients, up about 15% from the prior week.
How COVID is spreading in New York
In the latest week, Westchester County saw its COVID-19 cases hold flat, reporting 1,491 cases and five deaths.
Rockland County's cases fell slightly, reporting 571 cases and three deaths.
Putnam County's cases fell 10%, reporting 176 cases and zero deaths.
Orange County's cases spiked 31%, reporting 1,011 cases and two deaths.
Dutchess County's cases leaped 11%, reporting 502 cases and one death.
Upstate, Monroe County's cases jumped 24%, reporting 844 cases and five deaths.
Broome County's cases increased 14%, reporting 326 cases and four deaths.
Oneida County's cases ticked up 8%, reporting 424 cases and zero deaths.
Within New York, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in:
Fulton County with 307 cases per 100,000 per week.
Montgomery County with 272.
Columbia County with 267.
The Centers for Disease Control says high levels of community transmission begin at 100 cases per 100,000 per week.
Weekly case counts rose in 48 counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week's pace were in Bronx, Nassau and Orange counties.
Across New York, cases fell in 13 counties, with the best declines in Kings County, Chautauqua County, and in Franklin County.â€‹
A total of 6,094,999 people in New York have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 71,646 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 96,070,980 people have tested positive and 1,056,416 people have died.
New York's COVID-19 hospital admissions rising
USA TODAY analyzed federal hospital data as of Sunday, Sept. 25. Likely COVID patients admitted in the state:
Last week: 3,871
The week before that: 3,362
Four weeks ago: 3,562
Likely COVID patients admitted in the nation:
Last week: 55,707
The week before that: 55,506
Four weeks ago: 64,244
Hospitals in 13 states reported more COVID-19 patients than a week earlier, while hospitals in 20 states had more COVID-19 patients in intensive-care beds. Hospitals in 25 states admitted more COVID-19 patients in the latest week than a week prior, the USA TODAY analysis of U.S. Health and Human Services data shows.
Lindy Washburn of USA TODAY Network contributed to this report.
The USA TODAY Network is publishing localized versions of this story on its news sites across the country, generated with data from Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control. If you have questions about the data or the story, contact Mike Stucka at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on New York State Team: NY COVID cases up 8%, some counties outside NYC face worse outbreaks