New York virus cases top 1,000 for 1st time since June

NEW YORK • New York state reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time since early June.

The state confirmed 1,005 additional positive cases, or 1% of those tested last Friday, bringing the total to 454,760. Hospitalisations increased by 16 to 527, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office.

New York, the early epicentre of the US Covid-19 outbreak, was reporting more than 10,000 cases a day during its peak. The state has reopened in phases and by regions. New York City, which has more than half of the state’s cases, is still in the process of reopening and has reported clusters of case increases in recent days. Cuomo has said to expect higher cases during the reopening process, and has urged residents to wear masks and remain socially distant.

“It’s vital that New Yorkers continue to practice the basic behaviours that drive our ability to fight Covid-19 as we move into the fall and flu season,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We’ll continue to closely monitor the data and keep New Yorkers updated so they can make educated decisions for themselves and their families.”

The last time New York had more than 1,000 cases was on June 5, when 1,108 of 77,895 tests — or 1.4% — came back positive, according to the governor’s office. The state has since ramped up testing, and conducted nearly 100,000 tests last Friday. Its seven-day rolling average positivity rate is about 1%, compared to 2% in early June. Until mid-September, New York had reported 38 straight days with an infection rate of less than 1%.

In New York, hospitalisations from Covid-19 peaked at more than 18,000 in April. More than 25,000 residents (at press time) have died from the virus. Cuomo and neighbouring governors have enacted a 14-day quarantine requirement for people visiting from states where cases are surging. — Bloomberg