New COVID-19 cases plummet in New York

Mike Stucka

New York reported far fewer coronavirus cases in the week ending Sunday, adding 60,317 new cases. That's down 28.4% from the previous week's toll of 84,212 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

New York ranked No. 7 among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week the United States added 817,934 reported cases of coronavirus, a decrease of -21.3% from the week before. Across the country, 3 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.

Across New York, cases fell in 60 counties, with the best declines in Queens, Kings and Suffolk counties.

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The share of New York test results that came back positive was 4.5% in the latest week, compared with 5.2% in the week before, a USA TODAY Network analysis of COVID Tracking Project data shows. In the latest week, 1,336,716 tests were administered; a week earlier, that figure was 1,618,739. Experts say it is important to look at the share of tests that come back positive, not just case counts, to get a better idea of whether the rate of new infections is changing or if differences in testing are playing a role.

The World Health Organization says places should be conducting enough tests to have fewer than 5% coming back positive. Places where the percentage is higher could struggle to complete contact tracing soon enough to prevent spread of the virus.

Within New York, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in Hamilton, Bronx and Nassau ​counties​. Adding the most new cases overall were Kings County, with 8,674 cases; Queens County, with 8,106 cases; and Bronx County, with 5,848.

In New York, 1,205 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 1,309 people were reported dead.

A total of 1,480,224 people in New York have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 44,839 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 27,004,715 people have tested positive and 463,437 people have died.

The Rev. Mark Van Koevering receives his COVID-19 vaccination in the rotunda of the Kentucky State Capitol on Thursday, February 4, 2021. Gov. Andy Beshear sought to gather faith leaders from across the state to get vaccinations so they will encourage their congregations to do the same when it's offered. He got his vaccine from Michelle Searcy from the Franklin County Health Department.