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Coronavirus US: NY infection rate lowest since pandemic’s start

Gov Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced that New York state has recorded its lowest infection rate since the start of the pandemic at just 0.66 per cent. 

Of the 62,031 people who were tested for COVID-19 on Sunday, only 408, or 0.66 per cent, tested positive. 

But the state is still dragging its heels on reopening – with no plans in place to resume indoor dining. 

‘Over the past couple of weeks, our infection rate has stayed below one percent,’ Cuomo said during his press conference. 

‘Congratulations to New Yorkers for their hard work in getting us to this point, but we must keep up that work and continue wearing our masks and socially distancing,’ he continued. 

‘Our progress shows that this virus responds to science, not politics. It’s a function of medicine and science and biology and should be treated that way.’ 

With the additional of the 408 cases, the statewide total of coronavirus infections is now 430,145. 

On Sunday, there were seven deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 25,295. 

Despite the progress that New York has made, the governor did acknowledge a few clusters in Western New York. 

One of those clusters occurred at a food processing factory in Chautauqua County.

Another COVID-19 cluster was reported at a steel plant in Erie County and two clusters broke out at two unidentified nursing homes.

‘We’re focusing on it and trying to understand exactly what is happening,’ he said. ‘We’re looking at it,’ Cuomo said, adding that it has raised a ‘caution flag’.

According to the governor’s press release, Western New York’s positive testing rate for the virus increased to 1.8 per cent on Saturday, which is up from 1 per cent. 

The number did dip back down to 1.1 per cent on Sunday, but that’s still higher than much of the rest of the state. 

On Friday, Cuomo cleared the way for gyms to open across New York state as early as Monday. 

Cuomo said that local governments must inspect each gym before or within two weeks of reopening to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocol. 

The mayor is currently prioritizing inspections on schools to ensure they are as safe as they can be before the September 10 start. 

A timeline for indoor dining has also not been released despite the cooler weather expected in just a couple of months.  

Meanwhile, museums and libraries will be reopening this week. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pending state and city approval, will reopen on August 29 with new social distancing measures.

The Museum of Modern Art will reopen on August 27 and admission will be free through September 27. 

The Whitney Museum of American Art will reopen on September 3 and the Guggenheim will reopen in October. 

Other New York museums will reopen in mid September.  

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