COVID-19: Two Hudson Valley Counties Lead State In Infection Rates; New Breakdown, Latest Data

Two counties in the Hudson Valley have the highest COVID-19 positivity rate in New York State, according to the most recent data from the Department of Health.

In Orange County, the 6.7 percent positivity rate of those tested for COVID-19 is the highest in the state, followed by Rockland County, which sat at a total of 6.2 percent over the weekend.

The rates are the highest in New York, in front of Bronx County (5.5 percent), and Suffolk County (5.4 percent).

New York has averaged 548 cases for every 100,000 residents over the past two weeks, the second-highest rate in the country, behind New Jersey’s 647 cases.

The Hudson Valley has been the region hit hardest by the virus, as the infection rate held at 4.76 percent over the weekend, the highest in the state ahead of Long Island (4.37 percent), and New York City (4.31 percent).

No other region is above 4 percent, with all but Western New York below 3 percent.

Statewide, the average infection rate rose from 3.37 percent to 3.45 percent during that time.

As of Monday, March 29, there were 523 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the Hudson Valley, down slightly, representing 0.02 percent of the region's population and leaving 43 percent of the region's hospital beds still available.

The state was also reporting 390 of the region's 679 ICU beds as occupied by COVID-19 patients, leaving 41 percent available in case of another surge of the virus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday blamed new variants of the virus and states for lifting restrictions.

“The variants are playing a part, but it is not completely the variants. What we’re likely seeing is because of things like spring break and pulling back on the mitigation methods that you’ve seen,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“Now, several states have done that. I believe it’s premature … because when I’ve said many times to you that when you’re coming down from a big peak and you reach a point and start to plateau, once you stay at that plateau, you’re really in danger of a surge coming up.”

A breakdown of new cases in each of the Hudson Valley's seven counties is as follows:

  • Westchester: 504 new (118,505 total);
  • Orange County: 207 (42,535);
  • Rockland: 198 (43,130);
  • Dutchess: 141 (25,671);
  • Ulster County: 104 (11,787);
  • Putnam: 61 (9,391);
  • Sullivan: 28 (5,421);
  • Total: 1,243 (256,440).

New deaths were also reported in:

  • Westchester: 2 (2,190 total);
  • Dutchess: 2 (425);
  • Orange: 1 (669);
  • Rockland: 0 (714);
  • Sullivan: 0 (64).
  • Ulster: 0 (236);
  • Putnam: 0 (90);
  • Total: 5 (4,388).

"The vaccine is the weapon that will win the war, and each day more New Yorkers are getting vaccinated for COVID-19. However, the infection rate also depends on what we do, and New Yorkers should continue staying safe and protecting one another as the virus continues to spread in our state," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

"Simple behaviors like wearing a mask, washing hands, and social distancing can have an outsize impact, especially when communities make the collective decision to follow the rules. Our vast distribution network is at the ready to ramp up vaccinations, but we still have a long way to go before defeating COVID-19 and ending the pandemic once and for all."

Statewide, a total of 1,835,940 positive COVID-19 cases have been confirmed out of more than 44.3 million tests that have been administered. There have been a total of 40,330 virus-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

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