NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York's statewide positivity rate has surpassed the 3% mark, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday.
The statewide rate is 3.09%, while the positivity rate in microcluster zone is 5.59% and the are outside the focus zone is 2.56%.
It is important to note that public schools in NYC can only stay open if the COVID positivity rate stays below 3%.
While the fact that the state's positivity rate has surpassed the 3% is concerning, New York still remains the nation's third-lowest positivity rate over the last week -- behind Vermont and Maine, according to Johns Hopkins University.
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"While New York's COVID positivity remains the third-lowest in the nation, we continue to see increases in both new positive cases and hospital admissions, demonstrating we are not immune to the surge we are seeing throughout the rest of the nation," Cuomo said. "While we may be tired of COVID, it is not tired of us. It's clear that COVID fatigue and a lack of compliance leads to viral spread, so it's more important than ever that as we prepare for winter, each of us stays smart and New York Tough by taking simple everyday actions like washing hands, wearing masks and socially distancing. Likewise, local governments need to be vigilant and actively enforce public health law throughout the state."
South Dakota had the highest positivity rate last week at 53.97%. Vermont remains below 1% with a positivity rate of 0.64%.
While a rise in cases during the fall and winter was expected, Cuomo continued to ask all New Yorkers to wear masks, socially distance, wash hands and be wary of large gatherings.
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