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Gov. Cuomo calls out WNY for high positivity rate

Anyone over the age of 16 will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in New York State starting Tuesday at 8 a.m.

NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon, discussing the latest COVID-19 data across New York State.

According to the governor, the Western New York region currently has the highest seven-day average percentage of positive test results in New York. As of Sunday, the region had a percent positive rate of 4.7 percent, which is up from 4.44 percent on Saturday.

"Western New York if you remember, we had a real problem for a long time. Western New York we communicated the message of the severity. Western New York improved, Western New York is now back on top," he said.

Governor Cuomo blamed 'the behavior of a community' for the WNY region's numbers. He said it was one of the most important things he was going to discuss on the call.

"I get it, we all get it, COVID fatigue. Except it's not over and there are still variants and you can still get sick and yes people are vaccinated but not enough and it's up to that community's behavior," he said.

That announcement came on the eve of universal vaccine eligibility in New York starting Tuesday anyone over the age of 16 is eligible for vaccination.

Cuomo said supply is coming from the federal government and is up this week.

"So vaccine is flowing, it's still not enough for everybody in a very timely way but boy it's really good news for everybody now," said University at Buffalo's Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy Dr. Nancy Nielsen.

Cattaraugus County Public Health Director Dr. Kevin Watkins said the county typically requests about 1,000 doses of vaccine, but said they will be close to doubling that request soon to keep up with demand.

"We did not think that we would be at this point so early, so we are excited that there are multiple vaccines available that we are able to now start to meet the needs of the community," Watkins said.

With everyone now eligible for a vaccine, 2 On Your Side asked Nielsen if she had any tips on how to get an appointment.

"The lists tend to change about five minutes after the hour so one of the tips that I've heard is check shortly after the change of the hour and you might be able to snag an appointment," she said. "It's really important to keep checking and what we spoke about last week Vaccine Hound is now available and that will help you as well."