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Cuomo: Lancaster has highest COVID-19 infection rate across New York State

The Western New York region had the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the state at 6% on Saturday and has the highest 7-day rolling average at 5.06%.

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo provided a COVID-19 update Sunday morning in New York City.

During the update, Cuomo said that several communities across the state are in the "warning track" and may go into an Orange Zone or a Red Zone if the COVID-19 infection rate does not improve this week.

The governor listed parts of Rochester as well as several areas downstate, but did not mention any communities in the Western New York region.

However, Cuomo says the Western New York region currently has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the state at 6 percent on Saturday. Western New York also has the highest seven-day rolling average of tests at 5.06%.

The governor added that Lancaster has the highest infection rate across the state.

The following communities in Erie County were listed as having among the highest infection rate in New York:

  • Lancaster, 9.17 percent
  • Hamburg, 8.7 percent
  • West Seneca, 8.3 percent
  • Cheektowaga, 8.25 percent
  • Orchard Park, 6.95 percent
  • Tonawanda, 6.8 percent
  • Williamsville, 5.73 percent

The governor stressed that New Yorkers should be more concerned about the infection rate in their community verses the state's infection rate, saying "because it's your community, that's going to determine if you go into a Yellow, Orange or Red Zone."

Cuomo says that this time of year is a "dangerous period" because of increased social activity between now and New Year's Eve, saying he believes the COVID-19 rate will increase in result.

"There are more parties, people are shopping, students are coming home from college in states with higher infection rates, there are more family gatherings," Cuomo said. "Thirty-seven days between today and January 2 of significantly increased social activity."

The governor went on to say that no one knows how much it will increase or how quickly, saying that answer is up to individuals and individual communities. He stressed that there is a wide variance across parts of the state as well as the country.

"It is a function of social behavior during this period," Cuomo said.

The governor also provided the latest data from the state saying 196,608 tests were reported on Saturday. Of those tests, 5,391 were positive for a 2.74 percent positive rate.

On Saturday, 30 people died in New York from the virus. Seven of the people who died were local: four in Allegany County, two in Erie County and one in Niagara County. To dat, 26,357 people have died in New York from the virus.

Patients in the hospital rose on Saturday by 119 to 2,562 statewide. There were 391 patients newly admitted and 276 discharged. There's now COVID-19 patients in hospitals in 52 of New York's 62 counties. 

Of the patients in hospitals statewide, 502 were in intensive care units, up 35 from the day before. Of those patients in ICUs, 234 were intubated, up 22 from the day before.

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