New York passes 7 million mark in COVID-19 tests, infection rate holding below 1%

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York
People wearing protective face masks wait, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, outside a testing center in the Bay Ridge section of the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., July 21, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Saturday marked the 7 millionth COVID-19 test conducted in New York state, and the ninth-straight day that the statewide infection rate hovered below 1%.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday that just 607 of the 77,692 test results reported on Aug. 15 came back positive for coronavirus, for an infection rate of 0.78%. A little more than half of the new positive cases came from New York City.

To date, 527 residents are hospitalized statewide with COVID-19, with 128 of them in intensive care and 59 on intubation. Seventy-three COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals on Aug. 15.

Six people died of the disease Saturday, including two in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn.

COVID-19 has killed 25,520 New York state residents and sickened over 425,000 people since the virus was first detected here on March 1. While the illness reached its deadly apex in early April, the numbers have dropped continuously ever since — even as the state began slowly reopening, region by region.

“Our numbers reflect the hard work of New Yorkers, and as other states across the nation see surging cases, our numbers remain steadily low,” Cuomo said. “New York State is demonstrating that a response guided by science and data — not politics or opinion — is the only effective way to deal with this virus. But, we must not become complacent and risk slipping backwards — everyone must remember to wear their masks, socially distance, wash their hands regularly, and stay New York Tough.”

The latest milestone in New York’s reopening begins tomorrow with bowling alleys statewide resuming business at 50% capacity. Low-risk museums and aquariums are also slated to open with limited capacity on Aug. 24. 

On Friday, Cuomo said he would introduce on Aug. 17 parameters for reopening gyms.

Meanwhile, the State Liquor Authority continues to crack down on businesses that fail to comply with capacity restrictions during the pandemic. Cuomo said the SLA and State Police Task Force found 25 New York City establishments in noncompliance — five in the Bronx, eight in Brooklyn, nine in Manhattan and three in Queens.