NY COVID rates continue to fall, lowest number since mid-December

New York reported fewer than 28,000 new COVID cases Saturday, with a positivity rate of 9.2 percent, the lowest since December 19, and the second day in a row the state's positivity rate dropped below 10 percent.

Nationwide, infection rates fell week-over-week in 19 states, with the northeast, which had seen the biggest numbers of new cases, now seeing a 40 percent drop. Cases are still rising slightly in the midwest and south, but the pace has slowed down. 

However, hospitalizations are near all-time records highs, although the number has shown signs of stabilizing.

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The quick spread of the omicron variant has forced many Americans to hit the pause button on a full return to normal. But health experts warn that omicron won't be the last mutation of the virus we see. 

"It tells us a lot about what we might expect from the next variant, that it really could come out of nowhere, that it could really change its properties, evade our immunity and the, the thing that, I think, worries people the most is it can become a lot more contagious and there's nothing to say it can't also become deadlier," said Dr. Anna Bershteyn of NYU Langone Health.

The White House is banking on increased testing as the best way to get out in front of another potential wave, pledging to send out 1 billion free tests to American households.