NY uptick in COVID-19 cases as vaccination rates slowly rise

New York is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases as vaccination rates slowly rise, according to the state's latest data released Saturday.

About 525 people each day tested positive for COVID-19 in New York for the seven days through Friday.

That's up from 369 people — a 42% increase — for the prior week.

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It's unclear why more people in New York are testing positive, at a time when fewer people are getting tested.

The state Department of Health says a higher percentage of cases are linked to more contagious variants. It is urging more people to get vaccinated.

New York City is driving much of the increase in positives, though cases are also rising in parts of Long Island.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations are flattening: hospitals reported 342 COVID-19 patients as of Friday, similar to 340 patients from last Friday.

About 55% of 20 million New Yorkers are fully vaccinated. That's up from nearly 48% as of June 6.

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Vaccination rates are lowest in parts of western and central New York: about one-third of residents in Allegany County are fully vaccinated.

Rates are also lower in parts of New York City: 43% of Bronx residents and 45.5% of Brooklyn residents are fully vaccinated.