New York’s coronavirus infection rates have surged to their highest levels since May, pushing 10 counties – including Brooklyn, Rockland and Orange – above a threshold that the Cuomo administration uses to justify travel restrictions on other states.

For the seven days ending Oct. 7, the statewide average rate of new infections per day was 7.4 per 100,000, up from a low of 3.1 in late August, according to Health Department testing data.


This is an installment in a special series of #NYCoronavirus chronicles by Empire Center analysts, focused on New York’s state and local policy response to the coronavirus pandemic.


In 10 counties, the rates exceeded 10 per 100,000 – one of the standards the state uses to determine which states are subject to a travel advisory. Residents of those states are expected to self-quarantine 14 days after arrival in New York. The 10 counties are:

  • Chemung, 50.5 per 100,000
  • Broome, 38.2
  • Rockland, 35.9
  • Steuben, 21.6
  • Cortland, 19.5
  • Orange, 17.3
  • Tioga, 14.2
  • Greene, 13.3
  • Schuyler, 12.0
  • Kings (Brooklyn), 10.3

The list includes the state’s largest county – Brooklyn – as well as downstate suburbs and thinly populated rural areas. Taken together they represent almost one-fifth of the state’s population.

On a regional basis, the Southern Tier had the highest infection rate at 22.5 per 100,000, followed by Mid-Hudson at 11.5 and New York City at 7.1.

Governor Cuomo has attributed the state’s worsening outlook to relatively isolated “clusters” in places where compliance with masking and social distancing has been lax. He responded by imposing tighter restrictions on schools, businesses and houses of worship in three neighborhoods of New York City and parts of Orange, Rockland and Broome counties.

Much of the media attention has focused on outbreaks in ultra-Orthodox Jewish enclaves in New York City and the lower Hudson Valley. Other clusters with hundreds of cases each have been linked to the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Horseheads, a nursing home in Corning, and bars and restaurants in the Binghamton area.

Also ticking upward is the state’s coronavirus death rate. Based on data gathered by The New York Times, the seven-day average on Oct. 7 was 13 deaths per day, the highest level since early August. That rate peaked at almost 1,000 per day in mid-April, but dropped to a low of four per day in late September.

Source: New York State Department of Health (click to enlarge)

 

About the Author

Bill Hammond

As the Empire Center’s senior fellow for health policy, Bill Hammond tracks fast-moving developments in New York’s massive health care industry, with a focus on how decisions made in Albany and Washington affect the well-being of patients, providers, taxpayers and the state’s economy.

Read more by Bill Hammond

You may also like

New York’s State Share of Medicaid Spending is Due to Jump 22 Percent This Fiscal Year

The state share of Medicaid spending is projected to jump 22 percent under the recently approved state budget, an unusually steep one-year jump for what is already one of New York's biggest expenditures. Read More

New York’s Hospital Industry Ranks Near the Bottom of Two Quality Report Cards

New York's hospitals remain near the bottom of two quality report cards. The state's hospitals received the lowest rate of any state except Nevada and DC. Read More

New York’s ‘Bluest’ Counties Have the Lowest COVID Vaccination Rates for Older Residents

New York's bluest counties are posting the lowest coronavirus vaccination rates for older residents, a striking contrast with the pattern in the U.S. as a whole. The disparity appea Read More

New York’s ‘Single Payer’ Health Plan Would Disrupt Coverage for Out-of-State Commuters, Too

Under the latest version of the single-payer bill – which has broad support on Democrats in the Legislature – hundreds of thousands of commuters from other states would face the replacement of their current health insurance with a Medicaid-like plan funded with tax dollars and managed by Albany. Read More

The Public Can Now See the Vaccine Task Force Recommendations that the Cuomo Administration Held Back

Even as Governor Cuomo touted vaccine approvals by a state-appointed panel of experts, his office was withholding the group's detailed findings from public view. The governor's six- Read More

New York’s Medicaid and Public Health Crises Get Short Shrift in the New State Budget

In spite of an ongoing pandemic and spiraling Medicaid costs, New York's health-care system received surprisingly little attention in the new state budget. On issue after issue, law Read More

Empire State’s new budget is a bridge to nowhere

Looking ahead to an uncertain post-pandemic recovery, New York’s newly enacted state budget for fiscal year 2022 raises spending by staggering amounts that—barring an unlikely rapid return to peak 2019 economic activity in New York City—can't possibly be sustained for more than a few years. The budget is a mid-2020s fiscal disaster in the making: an incomplete bridge over a deepening river of red ink. Read More

New York Lags in COVID-19 Vaccinations for Older Residents

In the race to vaccinate its oldest and most vulnerable residents, New York has fallen behind. Although the state's overall COVID-19 vaccination rate is somewhat higher than the nat Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!