ALBANY — Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties entered Phase 3 of reopening on Friday along with much of the rest of upstate New York, and continued to show that the pandemic that led to shutdown of their economies is on the wane.
In the three counties, 712 people were tested for COVID-19 on Thursday and just three infections were confirmed.
To a greater or lesser degree, and with some remaining infection clusters, the picture is similar across the state: The statewide COVID hospital patient census has dropped every day except one for two solid months, from 18,825 on April 12 to 1,898 on June 11.
And the positive test rate is now 1%, down from 5.9% on May 15, the day the Mohawk Valley and four other regions of upstate New York began Phase 1 reopening of their economies.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo hailed this in his daily briefing Friday, noting that New York — initially the hardest-hit among the 50 states — now rates lowest in transmissibility, even as it continues its slow reopening. More than a dozen other states that have reopened are now seeing infection surges, some to their highest level ever, the governor said.
“You look at what’s happening to these states, they reopen and then the number goes up, which is common sense on one level. The number came down because you closed everything down. When you reopen and you increase activity, don’t be surprised when the infection rate goes up, unless you were very smart and disciplined about the way you reopened,” Cuomo said.
“We are the exact opposite. We, since we’ve reopened, the number has continued to go down, believe it or not. It continues to go down because we’ve been disciplined in our reopening, and that’s what we have to continue to do.”
One of the casualties of this disciplined approach will be children’s overnight summer camps. The Cuomo administration announced late Friday that they will not be allowed to operate in New York this year.
It previously announced that day camps will be allowed to operate, starting June 29.
Some metrics as of Friday morning:
- The state’s official COVID-19 death toll reached 24,495 Friday morning, with 42 new deaths; an Albany County woman in her 90s was the only Capital Region resident among them.
- Across the eight-county region, 46 COVID patients were hospitalized, just four of them in intensive care.
- Twenty-three new infections were confirmed in the Capital Region as 4,657 people were tested for COVID-19 on Thursday.
- New infections and new hospitalizations in the Capital Region on a seven-day rolling average are second-lowest among the state’s 10 regions behind the North Country, which has been the region least-impacted by the pandemic.
The Capital Region is poised to move as soon as Wednesday to Phase 3 reopening, in which indoor restaurant dining and personal care services such as tattooing, piercing, massage, manicure, tanning and waxing can resume with restrictions.