Well, that escalated quickly!  Western New York's 7-day average COVID-19 positivity rate is increasing at an alarming rate. It's like we just keep outdoing ourselves every day.  According to the latest numbers released by New York Governor Kathy Hochul's Office for Saturday, November 20, 2021, our positivity rate is almost 10 percent.  The WNY region has a 7-day average COVID-19 positivity rate of 9.65 percent.  We are the only region in New York with a rate currently in the 9 to 10 percent range.  The second highest 7-day average positivity rate is the Finger Lakes region with 8.58 percent. Our rate now is actually higher than the same time last year. As of November 23, 2020, when we were in an 'Orange Zone' shutdown, the rate was 7.25 percent. That was prior to the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine. Based on the regulations at that time last year, the state would shut WNY down now,

Under the state's microcluster program, areas in highly populated regions such as Erie County meet the "red zone" designation if they have a seven-day rolling average positive test rate of 4% for 10 straight days.

Here are the current 7-day average positivity rates from across New York:

RegionThursday, November 18, 2021Friday, November 19, 2021Saturday, November 20, 2021
Capital Region6.69%6.84%6.83%
Central New York6.33%6.45%6.70%
Finger Lakes8.74%8.59%8.58%
Long Island3.84%3.98%4.16%
Mid-Hudson2.77%2.80%2.87%
Mohawk Valley7.59%7.29%7.37%
New York City1.54%1.57%1.60%
North Country6.94%7.13%7.13%
Southern Tier5.05%5.23%5.03%
Western New York9.48%9.48%9.65%
Statewide3.68%3.73%3.77%

The statewide average is 3.77 percent and the rate of New York City, the most populated city in the state and the country, is 1.60 percent. WNYers don't really seem to be concerned with the quickly increasing COVID-19 positivity rate.  Everything is business as usual. Before the vaccine was introduced, WNY was on lockdown for positivity rates that were less than what it is now.

Here is WNY's 7-day average of cases per 100K population.

Region11/6/202111/13/202111/20/2021
Western New York42.1456.6669.95

As you can see, over the past 14 days, it has increased by more than 20 cases per 100K.

Nearly 10,000 Fully Vaccinated New Yorkers Have Been Hospitalized for COVID-19

While the COVID-19 vaccine does protect people against the virus, especially from hospitalization or death, there have been almost 10,000 New Yorkers were hospitalized, even after they got vaccinated. The "breakthrough" data, which is reported by New York State, shows that 9,044 people who are fully vaccinated, have been hospitalized due to COVID-19. That's .07 percent of the fully vaccinated population. Almost 140,000 fully vaccinated residents have contracted COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated, as of November 8, 2021.

137,380 laboratory-confirmed breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among fully-vaccinated people in New York State, which corresponds to 1.1% of the population of fully-vaccinated people 12-years or older.

9,044 hospitalizations with COVID-19 among fully-vaccinated people in New York State, which corresponds to 0.07% of the population of fully-vaccinated people 12-years or older.

Even though health officials consider the vaccine to be an effective defense against COVID-19, there has been a decline in the rate of protection, according to the NYS Department of Health,

For the week of May 3, 2021, the estimated vaccine effectiveness shows fully-vaccinated New Yorkers had a 91.8% lower chance of becoming a COVID-19 case, compared to unvaccinated New Yorkers.

Although this effectiveness measure declined through mid-July, this decline then ceased. In the week of October 18, 2021, fully-vaccinated New Yorkers had a 79.0% lower chance of becoming a COVID-19 case, compared to unvaccinated New Yorkers.

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