ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo provided the latest information Saturday afternoon regarding the state's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the latest data released by New York State, the Western New York region has seen a slight decrease in the area's COVID-19 percent-positive rate, as well as the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19.
The Western New York region includes Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany counties.
The percent-positive rate for the Western New York region fluctuated over the past three days. On Wednesday the rate was 7.4 percent, which increased to 8.01 percent on Thursday, and decreased to 7.95 percent on Friday.
As of Friday, Western New York had the third lowest percent positive rate in the state, just above New York City (6.17 percent) and the Southern Tier (5.72 percent).
Meanwhile, the Finger Lakes region continues to have the highest percent-positive rate (10.03 percent), followed by Mohawk Valley (10.02 percent).
In terms of hospitalizations, .04 percent of the Western New York region's population is hospitalized with COVID-19. The state reports 518 people are hospitalized in the region, which is a slight decrease from the day prior at 544. Of the 518 hospitalized with COVID-19, 90 of them are in the ICU.
At this time, 32 percent of hospital beds are available in the region. There are a total of 329 people in the ICU, which means 39 percent of ICU beds are still available in the Western New York region.
The state reports 17 people died from COVID-19 in Western New York on Friday, 10 of which were reported in Erie County.
"With 2020 now behind us, we can see brighter days ahead, but to get there quickly, it's going to take all New Yorkers staying smart and staying united," Governor Cuomo said. "We have the vaccine, and that is good news, but it will be months before we've reached critical mass, making it as important as ever that we do not let COVID fatigue get the best of us.
"The state is working around the clock with the medical community to not only ensure vaccines are distributed as quickly and efficiently as possible, but to also continue growing bed capacity so hospitals do not become overwhelmed. As daunting as it may seem after all this time, it's critical that the rest of us remain tough and keep up our efforts to slow the spread. We've already come so far and we will finally reach that light at the end of the tunnel if we all just do our part."
As of Friday, 1,005,785 total individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 in New York State since the pandemic began.