Positive COVID-19 cases fell by 75% nationwide since the omicron peak, Hochul says

Positive COVID-19 cases in the state of New York have fallen by 75% since the peak on January 7, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday at the beginning of her budget speech.

Hochul said there were 22,312 new cases, down from 90,132 less than two weeks ago, to a daily rate of new positive cases of just over 12%.

“It’s incredible,” she said.

Cases have been falling steadily in recent days, following health experts predicting that the highly contagious omicron variant would follow its trend in other countries with a rapid rise and a steep fall.

Hochul said COVID-19 cases in New York have dropped 34% over the past seven days compared to the 5% drop in the rest of the United States

She also said hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are declining.

“We hope to close the books on this winter rise soon,” she said, promising to focus on “the post-pandemic future.”

New York City officials also spoke of a decline in the five boroughs.

Cases of COVID-19 have dropped in the city to below 20,000 on a daily seven-day average, from a maximum of nearly 43,000 earlier in January, the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Dave Chokshi, Tuesday. And hospital admissions related to COVID-19 have also dropped: 6,500 on Jan. 11 to 5,800 on Sunday, he said.

There have been “some vaccinated New Yorkers who got COVID” during the omicron wave, Chokshi said. He did not provide details.

Mayor Eric Adams said the drop in the number of cases in the city did not eliminate the need for masking, vaccination, distancing and other measures, though he is optimistic that cases will continue to fall.

“The level of cases in New York City – they are declining,” Adams said at a news conference at City Hall. He added: “We win, we win and we will win.”

But because hospitalizations and deaths lag behind cases, there may be a temporary increase in the near future, Adams warned.

Come back for updates on this development story.

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