NEW YORK - COVID-19 infection rates for tested New York state residents dipped below 10% for a second day in a row - a trend hailed by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Saturday as "extraordinary progress."
Of nearly 300,000 COVID-19 test results reported, 9.23% were positive, the state data showed. The data showed the downward trend was evident across the state.
"We are below 10% positivity rate for the second day in a row. This is extraordinary progress," Hochul said in statement Saturday.
"As we continue to see numbers trend downward, let's also continue to do the right thing. Wash your hands, get the vaccine if you haven't already, get the booster dose, and wear a mask. We will continue to see this downward trend in other parts of the state soon."
According to the state data released by the governor, as of Friday the number of hospitalizations also declined, along with the number of patients needing intensive care unit treatment. In all, 179 new deaths were reported.
The encouraging trend comes in the wake of good news the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dispensed about areas that were initially the hardest hit by the omicron variant - including New York.
At a White House briefing, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the cases in some areas hit hardest by the super-fast spreading variant are now showing signs the infection has crested in New York and other northeastern states.
"These reports add more evidence to the importance of being up to date on your COVID vaccinations," she said.
The number of New Yorkers who've completed a vaccination series, including a booster shot, is now at 71.3%, Saturday's state data showed.
In late December, the omicron wave fueled a 63% spike in statewide hospitalizations in just one week, and a staggering 22% test positivity rate.
The daily positivity rate was below 5% at the start of December, when the delta variant remained dominant.