Positive COVID-19 tests hit record low in New York City

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The percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive has reached a record low in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said Wednesday, a sign that enough people are being tested and that the city has control of the virus.

“This is extraordinary,” de Blasio said during a press conference.

“Now we all know every day can vary. We all know there is no single perfect measure, but the fact that with expanded testing and more and more outreach all the time, you now see a number as low as 0.24 percent for the New York City infection rate, this is striking,” he added.

The World Health Organization recommends a test positivity rate of 5 percent or less before communities safely reopen. Rates in New York city and New York state are among the lowest in the nation.

“This should be a … call for all of us to double down and go further because the more we can do to beat down this virus, the more we can bring back this city,” de Blasio said.

Having such a low positivity rate likely means the city is doing enough testing and able to find cases before they turn into outbreaks.

“New York is like the South Korea of our country, where the test positive rates are low, the number of cases are low enough where you can snuff out the embers before they turn into wildfires,” said Thomas Tsai, assistant professor at the Harvard T.H. Chain School of Public Health.

New York has taken aggressive public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, including restricting indoor dining and bars.

According to Johns Hopkins University, 18 states and the District of Columbia have test positivity rates of 5 percent or lower, while 32 states and Puerto Rico are higher.

Tags Bill de Blasio Coronavirus COVID-19 testing infection rates New York City Pandemic
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