New York State marked a milestone of progress in fighting coronavirus infections on Monday, with a full month of fewer than 1% of virus tests coming back positive.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the 30-day stretch of good news while urging people to remain cautious during Labor Day weekend get-togethers. He attributed the state's progress to its statewide mask mandate and an approach to reopening that's been slower than in many other states.
"It took the work of all of us to get here, and to protect this progress we will need to all continue to wash our hands, wear our masks, remain socially distant and above all, stay New York tough,'' Cuomo said in a statement.
There is concern that case counts could rise as schools, college campuses and more businesses reopen. The State University of New York at Oneonta canceled in-person instruction less than two weeks into the fall semester because more than 500 students tested positive for the virus after some large parties were held.
Throughout New York's 64-campus state university system, more than 900 students and employees have tested positive on campuses over the last two weeks, and nearly 400 students are currently in precautionary or mandatory quarantine, according to a new online dashboard that the university system debuted Sunday.
New York was the epicenter of the nation's COVID-19 pandemic in April, with nearly 800 people dying a day from the virus at one point. On Monday, the state recorded 413 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and two deaths. More than 25,000 coronavirus deaths have been recorded in the state since March.