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Microclusters fuel NYS' largest jump in COVID-19 hospitalizations since April

Erie County

New York reported the largest one-day jump in hospitalizations due to COVID-19 since April on Tuesday, with the state’s positivity rate breaking 3% amid a significant uptick of the virus not seen since the spring.

The number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 also reached a new high in the latest wave of the virus, with nearly 4,000 cases reported Tuesday -- the most since early May.

Those numbers are fueled, in part, by a series of so-called microclusters of the disease in various areas of the state. The state has identified about a dozen microclusters, all of which had an average positivity rate of 5.59% Monday.

Cuomo said in a press release Tuesday afternoon that local governments should ramp up enforcement of the state’s COVID-19 regulations, and that New York residents should double down on protective measures.

“We continue to see increases in both new positive cases and hospital admissions, demonstrating we are not immune to the surge we are seeing throughout the rest of the nation,” Cuomo said.

Hospitalizations from the disease spiked in Tuesday’s numbers, with an increase of 104 hospitalizations Monday. That’s the largest one-day increase since early April, just before the virus hit the peak of its first wave in New York.

The number of people hospitalized is now at 1,548 because of the increase. That’s the highest number of people hospitalized from the virus in New York since June 14.

According to Johns Hopkins University, New York’s positivity rate is lower than most states in the country. But New York’s rate of transmission, the number that shows how quickly the virus is spreading, is among the nation’s highest, as of Tuesday.

The statewide positivity rate in New York reached 3.09%, which is the highest it’s been since May 25, according to the state’s data tracker.

Both Western New York and Central New York reported a positivity rate of 5.7% -- the highest among any region of the state. The state has reported significant clusters of the virus in both regions. The Finger Lakes region had the third-highest positivity rate at 3.8%.

The region with the lowest positivity rate Tuesday was the Southern Tier, where the rate was still 1.4%. That’s a change from weeks ago, when the region was experiencing its own surge of COVID-19 diagnoses.

Cuomo, on Monday, announced new restrictions for areas around Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse that have experienced recent upticks in the virus. That’s in addition to cluster zones in the Southern Tier, New York City and the lower Hudson Valley.

There were 32 new deaths related to COVID-19 reported by the state on Tuesday, which means there are now more than 26,000 confirmed fatalities from the pandemic in New York since March.

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