ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — More than 1,000 New Yorkers tested positive for COVID-19 in a single day Friday, marking the highest daily number in the state since June 5.
The number of positive tests reported daily in the state has been steadily inching up in recent weeks, a trend possibly related to increasing numbers of businesses reopening, college campuses reopening and children returning to school. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday there were 1,005 positive cases tallied on the previous day out of 99,953 tests, for a 1% positive rate.
From late July through the start of September the state was seeing an average of around 660 people test positive per day. In the seven-day period that ended Friday, the state had averaged 817 positive tests per day.
Cuomo didn’t comment on the 1,000-case threshold in his daily COVID-19 update, but reiterated his call for vigilance.
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“It’s vital that New Yorkers continue to practice the basic behaviors that drive our ability to fight COVID-19 as we move into the fall and flu season,” Cuomo said in a prepared release. “Wearing masks, socially distancing and washing hands make a critical difference, as does the deliberate enforcement of state guidance by local governments.”
That number of daily positive tests in a state of more than 19 million people still puts New York in a much better position than many other states. And it is worlds better than the situation in the state in April, when the number of positive tests per day routinely topped 9,000, even though tests then were hard to get and people were being encouraged not to seek one unless they were gravely ill.
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The higher number of positive tests lately could be related to more people seeking tests — or being required to take them — with the start of the academic year.
Still, the uptick has been a cause for concern. New York City health officials have sounded alarms about a rising number of cases in certain neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens where many private religious schools opened for in-person instruction in early September, warning that those communities could see severe restrictions on public gatherings reinstated if current trends continue.
Public school students in New York City’s elementary, middle and high schools are set to resume in-person instruction next week Sept. 29 and Oct. 1. There is a chance some schools could remain closed due to a potential staffing shortage.
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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)