cdc spore

The spikes that adorn the outer surface of the coronavirus, which impart the look of a corona, when viewed through an electron microscope. CDC photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered New Yorkers a pre-Valentine’s Day gift better than chocolate or flowers: The state’s COVID-19 seven-day positivity rate hit its lowest mark since late November.

The rate dropped below 4% for the first time since Nov. 29 and the seven-day average was down 51% from the post-holiday peak of early January, the governor said Saturday.

The figure has now declined for 36 consecutive days, he added, and the statewide daily positivity rate was down to 3.46% — the lowest since Nov. 25.

“Hospitalization and infection rates are continuing to fall statewide and New Yorkers should be commended for all their hard work and sacrifice which helped make this a reality,” Cuomo said.

“If we are to win this war against COVID once and for all, we must keep driving down these rates, as well as to get as many shots into arms as possible.”

Statewide coronavirus hospitalizations were reported at 6,888, a drop of 916 in the past week and the lowest figure since Christmas Day.

The numbers in New York City also showed major progress, with the seven-day positivity rate at 4.63% — again the lowest since Dec. 25.

Not all the news was good: Eleven new cases of the U.K. coronavirus variant were identified statewide, with eight in New York City, two in Suffolk County and one in Rockland County. There now 70 known cases of the variant statewide, the governor said.

But Cuomo sounded an optimistic note as the state approached its second year of the pandemic.

“New York has the determination, toughness and vaccination structure to make this happen,” he said. “But our success will ultimately be determined by our willingness to keep making the right decisions and I have every confidence that New Yorkers will continue to do just that.”

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