NYC’s COVID infection rate on rise

Coronavirus infection rates are rising again in New York City as the virulent Delta strain spreads quickly among unvaccinated people, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday.

De Blasio said the weekly average positive test rate rose to 1.16%. That’s about double what is was just a couple of weeks ago, although a far cry from the sky-high rates during the brutal winter surge.

Sixty-nine people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the city, a number in line with recent figures.

The COVID -19 figures for New York state remained lower and show less of an uptick from recent dramatic lows.

Statewide on Friday, officials counted 661 new coronavirus cases with a positivity rate of 0.79%, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported Saturday.

Three people died statewide and hospitalizations dipped slightly to 342.

NYC and Long Island are the only regions of the state with infection rates higher than the statewide average. And Staten Island has by far the highest positivity rate of the five boroughs.

Public health officials blame the jump on the fast-spreading Delta variant that is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the city and nationwide.

There’s no doubt that increasing vaccination numbers is the best way to keep a lid on the virus. Studies show the vaccines are safe and extremely effective against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. The vaccines are proving especially effective in preventing serious disease and death.

Although New York enjoys a higher vaccination rate than the national average, there are still pockets of low vaccination rates in the five boroughs, especially on Staten Island.

Nationally, coronavirus infection rates are rising fast as significant swaths of the South and Midwest have vaccination rates below 40%. Some states — including Missouri and Arkansas — are experiencing fast-rising hospitalization rates.

So far the daily death toll has remained low and is still dropping nationwide. But experts predict that grim metric will also soon start to rise as it generally lags a couple of weeks behind hospitalization trends.

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Tribune Wire

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