New York hits three-month low in COVID positive test rates as hospitalizations dip: Cuomo

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Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News
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New York State hit a fresh three-month low in coronavirus rates as the positivity dipped again to just above 3%, Gov. Cuomo announced Saturday.

With the holiday surge continuing to ease, the state recorded its 43rd straight day of declining average test rates Friday.

Hospitalizations dropped to 5.977, a level not seen since Dec. 14.

“As these numbers go down, vaccinations are going up, and that means we’re making real progress toward the light at the end of the tunnel,” Cuomo said.

Ninety-seven New Yorkers died of COVID-19 on Friday, a number that remained stubbornly high even as the infection rates decline.

Some 49 of those deaths were New York City residents, including 17 from Brooklyn and 16 from Queens.

New York City’s positive test rate is stuck at a weeklong average of 4.40%, significantly higher that the statewide tally.

The Bronx recorded a rate of 6%, double the state average, a disturbing reminder that New York still has a tough road ahead to lower the toll of death and illness.

Manhattan is the only borough that is beating the state statewide average with a 2.98% weekly average rate.

Cuomo hailed the progress in taming the “COVID beast.”

“The post-holiday reduction in positivity and hospitalizations demonstrates that New Yorkers are continuing to do the right things to stay safe,” Cuomo said.

Experts predict rising temperatures as winter eases and increased vaccination rates will continue to push down the pandemic’s dreadful toll in the short run.

But it remains unknown whether more contagious variants of COVID-19 that were first identified in Britain and South Africa might spark a new spring surge in cases and deaths.