New coronavirus cases in New York rose 19% over the past week, state and federal records showed.
The state reported 37,939 new cases, up from 31,981 new cases the previous week.
But New York’s increase still ranked among the lowest in the nation for COVID spread over the past week. The state was 46th among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data showed.
With 5.8% of the country’s population, New York had 3.7% of the country’s cases in the last week.
Students also returned to classes earlier this month, and most colleges welcomed back the bulk of their students for the first time since the pandemic hit.
“COVID-19 remains a threat to New Yorkers across the state, and it’s critical that we take decisive action to vaccinate more people and slow the spread,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement Sunday.
“We continue to implement important masking requirements to protect children and families, but getting shots in arms is the key to a safe and healthy future.”
On Saturday, New York reported 2.5% of tests came back positive, down from 2.7% on Friday and 3.4% on Thursday.
The seven-day average percent positive was 3%, which was down slightly from recent weeks.
In the Hudson Valley, cases were flat in Westchester County over the past week and down 13% in Dutchess County and down 5% in Orange County, but were up in Rockland and Putnam counties.
Cases rose 14% in Monroe County and were up 22% in Broome County and 16% in Oneida County.
Across New York, cases fell in 23 counties, with the best declines in Dutchess, Ulster and Madison counties.
Within New York, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in three small counties: St. Lawrence, Franklin and Chautauqua.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said high levels of community transmission begin at 100 cases per 100,000 per week, and all New York counties have now reached the highest level of transmission in recent weeks.
New York is faring well nationally in getting residents vaccinated.
It ranked 12th among states in share of people receiving at least one shot, with 70% of its residents at least partially vaccinated.
The national rate was 64%, a USA TODAY analysis of CDC data showed.
In the week ending Sunday, New York reported administering another 359,031 vaccine doses, including 185,304 first doses. In the previous week, the state administered 396,621 vaccine doses, including 201,249 first doses.
In all, New York reported it has administered 25 million total doses for its 20 million residents.
The state reported 248 people dead of COVID in the week ending Sunday, up slightly from 236 deaths the week prior.
As the nation’s fourth largest state, New York has the fourth highest number of cases since the pandemic started in March 2020 at about 2.4 million, but it has the third most deaths at 54,904 because it was the first epicenter of the virus.