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BA.2 subvariant driving up COVID rates statewide

Erie County COVID-19 Tracker
Erie County Health Department
Erie County's COVID-19 Tracker shows the recent uptick in cases.

There's been a slow but steady uptick in the number of new coronavirus cases in New York, driven by the new BA.2 subvariant.

Central New York is experiencing the biggest surge of new cases, with a positive test rate of about 9%. That's far higher than the statewide positive test rate of 2.5%.

Western New York's rate was at 2.49% Tuesday, up from 2.23% Sunday. The state said 121 new cases were reported in Erie County, 22 in Niagara County, 11 in Chautauqua County, 5 in Genesee County, 3 each in Allegany County and in Orleans County and 1 each in Cattaraugus County and in Wyoming County.

Every region of the state is experiencing an uptick. In a press release, Gov. Kathy Hochul said she's "closely monitoring" the increase.

"I want to remind New Yorkers that the vaccine and booster are our best tools to move forward safely through this pandemic," she said.

Hospitalizations, however, continue to decrease across New York. The state reported six people died due to COVID-19 Wednesday.

David Sommerstein, a contributor from North Country Public Radio (NCPR), has covered the St. Lawrence Valley, Thousand Islands, Watertown, Fort Drum and Tug Hill regions since 2000. Sommerstein has reported extensively on agriculture in New York State, Fort Drum’s engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the lives of undocumented Latino immigrants on area dairy farms. He’s won numerous national and regional awards for his reporting from the Associated Press, the Public Radio News Directors Association, and the Radio-Television News Directors Association. He's regularly featured on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Only a Game, and PRI’s The World.