Another COVID surge is forcing leaders in the Hudson Valley to encourage residents to mask up, once again.

COVID is, sadly, once again roaring across New York State. The CDC reports cases spiked 24 percent across New York last week. On Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul confirmed over 10,300 new COVID cases. Wednesday's percent positive was 8.27 percent with the 7-Day average percent positive at 7.57 percent.

COVID Surging Across New York State

Mike Groll- Office of Governor Kathy Hochul
Mike Groll- Office of Governor Kathy Hochul
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"As we continue to monitor the numbers, I encourage New Yorkers to keep using the tools that protect against and treat COVID-19," Hochul stated. "The best way to prevent serious illness and hospitalization from COVID-19 is by getting fully vaccinated and staying up to date on your booster doses. I know first-hand how tests can help stop the spread to our vulnerable loved ones, so let's keep using this critical tool. If you test positive, talk to your doctor about treatments. Let's continue to look out for each as we work to move forward safely through this pandemic."

The 7-day average cases per 100,000 is 50.67. Hochul's office says that metric is now the most important.

"Due to the test reporting policy change by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and several other factors, the most reliable metric to measure virus impact on a community is the case per 100,000 data -- not percent positivity," Hochul's office wrote in a press release.

IvelinRadkov
IvelinRadkov
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As of Wednesday, the Mid-Hudson Region's 7-day average percentage of positive test results has increased to 9.38 percent, according to Gov. Hochul's office. The 7-day average cases per 100,000 for the Mid-Hudson Region is 52.73.

Due to the spike in cases, health officials across the Hudson Valley are now encouraging residents to mask up. So far, no lawmakers are calling for a mask mandate, but they are encouraging residents to wear high-quality masks when indoors in a public setting.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer is one Hudson Valley leader who recommends masks when indoors in public places.

JNemchinova
JNemchinova
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He also suggests immunocompromised people and students start wearing masks again while indoors.

CDC Says You Should Wear a Mask in Over 40 New York Counties

In late March, the CDC updated the metrics it uses for recommending masks. The framework moves beyond just looking at cases and testing positivity to evaluate factors that reflect the severity of disease, including hospitalizations and hospital capacity.

The metrics determine whether the level of COVID 19 and severe disease are low, medium, or high in a community. The CDC says you should wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status if your county is deemed to have High COVID spread. At least 45 New York counties are now deemed to have High COVID spread, according to the CDC.

As of this writing the CDC recommends Empire State residents wear masks in over 40 New York counties, including:

The CDC Says You Should Mask Up In These 35 New York Counties

The CDC has designated these 35 Upstate New York counties as currently "high-risk" for COVID as of May 3, 2022, and is recommending residents wear masks because of that designation. The designation is based on the number of hospital admissions per 100,000 residents in a 7 day period. 6 Capital Region counties are on this list, consisting of counties from Upstate, Central, and Western New York.

The CDC Says You Should Mask Up In These 45 New York Counties

The CDC has designated these 45 Upstate New York counties as currently "high-risk" for COVID as of May 16, 2022, and is recommending residents wear masks because of that designation. The designation is based on the number of hospital admissions per 100,000 residents in a 7 day period. 6 Capital Region counties are on this list, consisting of counties from Upstate, Central, and Western New York.

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