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Western New York Coronavirus positivity rate remains higher than the state average

Cuomo says the region has a caution flag
Posted at 6:30 PM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 18:30:15-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Western New York received a "caution flag" warning from Governor Andrew Cuomo multiple times this week, as the region has the highest positivity rate in the state. On Tuesday, 1.4% of diagnostic tests in Western New York came back positive, compared to 0.8% for the state as a whole.

The region's positivity rate has fluctuated between 1% and 1.8% for the past week, the state average has stayed below 1%.

“Unfortunately Erie County is trending higher in the last few weeks, with regards to numbers compared to comparable counties across New York State, that's not good," said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

Earlier this week Governor Cuomo referred to a steel plant in the county as having a cluster, the county executive would not specify any businesses or areas during his Wednesday afternoon press briefing.

“When we’re talking about clusters we’re talking about a handful, we're talking about less than ten cases," he said.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Thomas Russo said Western New York has been stagnant for about five weeks, while other parts of the state have dropped.

"All in all, I think we’re still doing pretty well," he said.

He said under 2% is a good sign, and that it's important to watch for rolling averages and any upticks, without getting too focused on a particular day.

He said the most important thing is for people to remain vigilant and not get "covid fatigue."