NEW YORK — New York’s coronavirus positivity rate has soared over 2% and the state recorded the most COVID-19 cases in six months, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday.

Nearly 3,600 New Yorkers tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday and 18 died. That amounted to a 2.2% positive rate, up 10% in just a single day.

There were 3,586 new coronavirus cases, a number that has soared in recent weeks. The last time it was that high was May 2 when the state was still recovering from the worst of the pandemic.

Staten Island logged a 3.0% positivity rate as it became the worst hot spot in the city.

Even though New York enjoys one of the nation’s lowest rates of coronavirus infection, the numbers are heading in the wrong direction.

The state’s positive test rate remained below 1% for several weeks in the late summer. It started edging up after Labor Day and is rising faster as the weather turns chilly and people spend more time indoors.

Hospitalizations from coronavirus were up to 1,381 New Yorkers, a number that rose by about 4% in 24 hours. Intensive care units have 308 COVID-19 patients, up 23 from the day before.

Eighteen New Yorkers died of the virus. That number is rising fast, although it is still far below the 800-odd New Yorkers that perished every day during the dreadful early days of the pandemic.

Cuomo has preached the importance of respecting public health rules like wearing masks and social distancing for months.

He underlined that message, and warned of tough days ahead. “It’s going to take the work of all New Yorkers to ensure we don’t go back to where we were this spring,” Gov. Cuomo said. “I understand COVID fatigue is real, but it’s on all of us to stay vigilant.”

The nation set a new all-time record for coronavirus cases Saturday, with more than 137,00 new cases in one day. That number has shot up in recent weeks and doctors expect it to continue to soar as winter nears.

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Tribune Wire

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