The winter surge fueled by the COVID-19 omicron variant continued to level off in New York, though somewhat unevenly, as some daily measurements decreased slightly while others inched upward, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Saturday.
Hochul made it clear that the state was in no way out of the danger zone with the virus, but the number of cases, deaths and hospitalizations were no longer skyrocketing.
"We are turning the corner on the winter surge, but we're not through this yet," she said in a statement. "Please keep getting vaccinated, getting the booster dose, getting our children vaccinated, and wearing non-cloth masks."
The number of new cases in the state was 47,870 on Friday, down from 49,027 the prior day — and a long ways away from the record 90,132 on Jan. 7, state figures showed.
Nassau County had 3,154 new cases, a slight drop from 3,195 the prior day. Suffolk had 3,563 new cases, more than the 3,342 the day before, according to state numbers. Nonetheless, the Island is seeing about half the cases it had seen during the peak of the winter surge about a week ago.
There were 187 deaths in the state, up from 177 the day before. The deaths included 14 people in Nassau and 16 in Suffolk.
Daily Positivity Rate
7-day Positivity Rate
Source: New York State Department of Health
Decreases in the number of deaths might lag somewhat behind the overall decrease in cases, said Dr. Bruce Farber, chief of epidemiology and public health at Northwell Health.
"The number of deaths fall more slowly," Farber said. "Quite frankly it takes time for someone infected to get sick. And they may live for a time on a ventilator in the hospital."
Farber said the downward trend in measurements won't be a straight line, that it might be somewhat jagged.
"It appears that we have peaked, or plateaued," he said. "With any luck at all, we should see significant declines in the next few weeks."
Hospitalizations in the state decreased by 38 to 12,169, the figures said. However, the number of people in the ICU inched up by 34 to 1,653.
The state's percentage of positive daily cases was 14.62%, a great reduction from the surge high of 23.17% on Jan. 2, figures said.
Meanwhile, Long Island's seven-day average percentage of positive test results continued to decline, from 23.29% Wednesday to 22.17% Thursday to the current 20.86%, the figures showed.
New York City saw 23,054 cases, down from 31,530 the prior day — and a big drop from the 44,278 cases on Jan. 6.
On Long Island, a total of 1,987 additional people completed their vaccine series Friday, for a total of 1.87 million. In addition, 9,626 people received the booster Friday, bringing the total to 793,642, state figures showed.
Hochul continued to urge New Yorkers to take precautions against the virus.
"Let's not undo all the hard work we've put in to bring the numbers down," she said.
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