Weeks after an Omicron variant-fueled spike, New York City’s COVID-19 infection rates are slowing down and are among the lowest in the state, according to the latest state health data released Monday.
The Five Boroughs logged a positivity rate of 14.3% across a seven-day average Sunday, Jan. 16, decreasing for the past week and down from a peak of 22.5% on Jan. 4, according to the New York State Department of Health.
“I’m proud of the work New Yorkers have been putting in to keep the numbers down and protect our vulnerable loved ones,” Governor Kathy Hochul said in a Jan. 17 statement. “While we are continuing to see promising trends, we are not through the winter surge yet and it is critical that we continue to use the tools that will help stop the spread.”
Cases averaged over the past week have been declining in all parts of the state, according to Hochul, and New York City is second only to the Southern Tier region in terms of positivity rates, after being among the highest during the surge of the Omicron variant earlier this month.
Statewide positivity was 15.7%, and the highest percentages were in upstate Western New York (20.9%), Central New York (20.1%), and Long Island (18.5%).
On Sunday, 26,772 people tested positive across the Empire State, 13,811 of them in New York City and state hospitalizations were at 11,751, up 38 from Saturday, and 152 people died from the virus.
Longer-term trends for hospitals are following infection rates with a delay, as seven-day averages for new COVID-19 hospitalization were down 10.7% over the past week, according to the governor’s office.
Vaccination rates were at 70.9% for all eligible New Yorkers who have received a completed series of doses — two shots with Pfizer and Moderna, one with Johnson and Johnson — however, the intake varies widely by age.
The youngest eligible population, 5-11-year-olds, have a first-dose rate of only 34%, a 2% bump since Hochul launched an ad campaign aimed at parents with young children last week, and compared to 78% for 12-17-year-olds and 95% for adults.