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For the first time since before the holiday season, Western New York’s percentage of new coronavirus cases is below 2%. The governor’s office reported the region at 1.93% for Thursday.
"Defeating COVID-19 is front and center in New York state, and declining positivity rates and hospitalizations are aiding our efforts to vaccinate more New Yorkers, reopen the economy and get to the light at the end of the tunnel," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday. "New Yorkers' resilience and willingness to follow the rules got us through the spring and the holiday surge, and it is getting us through the winter. We're vaccinating New Yorkers at a fast clip and expanding our network of distribution sites as fast as we can, but we're going to need more vaccines to address a large enough portion of the population to defeat this pandemic once and for all. I'm confident that we will get there, but in the meantime New Yorkers need to continue social distancing, wearing masks and washing their hands. We wear masks not just to protect ourselves, but to protect each other, and that spirit will get us through the coming months as we work to beat the COVID beast."
Cuomo also announced COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York dropped to 5,626, the lowest since Dec. 12. The single-day positivity rate dropped to 2.82%, the lowest since Nov. 21, and the seven-day average positivity rate dropped to 3.22%, the lowest since Nov. 26.