ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As positivity rates increase across New York State, the Capital Region has the highest seven day rolling average outside of New York City.
The rolling average in the region is 1.75%, a rate only lower than Staten Island, with Richmond County sitting at 1.87%.
“I understand people are tired, everybody’s tired of the concern, the worry of wearing masks, but it’s not time to take our foot off the gas pedal,” Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen said.
The region’s positivity rate has continued to grow over the past several weeks. According to state data, it was 0.31% on July 4th, 0.73% on the 11th and 1.75% Sunday.
Because of this, county officials are doubling down on their push to get more people vaccinated.
“You wanna travel, you wanna go around, you don’t wanna wear a mask, you don’t wanna go backwards, get vaccinated. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem,” Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said.
Last week, the CDC Director said the nationwide increased positivity is a sign that COVID-19 is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
“You’re seeing around this country people that weren’t vaccinated, the hospitals are filling up again,” McCoy explained.
Across the country, over 99% of deaths and 97% of hospitalizations are amongst those who have not been immunized.
Dr. Whalen is urging those who haven’t rolled up their sleeves to continue wearing a mask and taking other precautions, especially as other parts of the state and country experience a rise in the concerning delta variant.
“Right now, we are at a critical juncture. We are starting to see slight upticks and we really need to stop that before the delta, before we really start to see much higher numbers,” she said.
While the increase in positivity rate comes as testing continues to decline, Whalen says it’s difficult to tell the impact of that on local rates.
“People need to continue to get tested, even if they have minor symptoms, because of the communicability of this variant,” Whalen said.
Despite the increased positivity rate, cases and hospitalizations are still significantly down from what the state saw this winter.
According to Governor Cuomo, the statewide positivity rate is sitting at 1.26%.