New York’s governor announces a significant drop in daily cases, a rare sign of hope.

New York’s governor announces a significant drop in daily cases, a rare sign of hope.

New York State recorded about 48,000 coronavirus cases on Friday, a nearly 47 percent drop from the roughly 90,000 cases reported a week earlier, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Saturday.

The total number of positive cases — 47,870 — represented only 14.6 percent of the 327,427 tests reported by the state, a significant decline from the 23 percent positivity rate recorded on Jan. 2.

Hospitalizations also seemed to decrease slightly, with 38 fewer hospitalizations recorded on Friday compared with the day before.

This and other recent data show that the latest surge in New York driven by the Omicron variant may be starting to trend downward from a Jan. 9 peak, and that several Northeast states — including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island — may be heading in the same direction.

“We are turning the corner on the winter surge, but we’re not through this yet,” Governor Hochul said in a statement on Saturday announcing the latest numbers.

She added: “Please keep getting vaccinated, getting the booster dose, getting our children vaccinated, and wearing non-cloth masks. Let’s not undo all the hard work we’ve put in to bring the numbers down.”

The decline in new virus cases came after Governor Hochul announced on Friday that nine more testing sites would open on SUNY and community college campuses, bringing the total number of state-run testing sites to 29.

Experts have repeatedly pointed to rigorous testing as a way to help control the spread of the virus, but access to tests has remained a significant obstacle, in part because of supply shortages and high costs.

Senior officials with the Biden administration said this week that Americans would be able to request free rapid tests online starting on Wednesday. But it could take up to 12 days for the tests to be delivered to Americans’ homes, the officials said.

The demand for at-home tests remains especially strong at a time when an average of roughly 805,000 people are still testing positive every day in the United States, according to a New York Times database.

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