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Antibody testing shows Covid-19 spread is slowing, but WNY is upstate high point

Antibody testing for previous infections shows the spread of Covid-19 is slowing throughout New York but Erie County remains an upstate trouble spot for the virus, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Saturday.

New York has conducted antibody tests on more than 15,000 residents over the past several weeks. Those tests showed a 14% infection rate on April 22, an increase to 15% on April 27 and a decline to 12.3% on Friday in the most recent round of testing.

"It's better than seeing it go up, that's for sure," Cuomo said at his daily news briefing.

[Related: Erie County's map of where Covid-19 cases are]

The infection rate in New York City was 20% on Friday, the highest in the state.

Though Western New York's infection rate fell from 7.1% on April 27 to 6% on Friday, it had the highest infection rate among regions upstate.

"Erie County, which is Buffalo, has been problematic," Cuomo said.

[Related: Where Western New York's coronavirus cases are, county by county]

This comes as Erie County residents continue to seek treatment in hospitals for Covid-19 infections at a rate higher than the rest of upstate New York.

Cuomo repeated his announcement on Friday that New York will ask hospitals to collect more information from new Covid-19 patients coming through their doors to help the state get a better sense of where the virus is spreading and who it is infecting.

The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus in New York continues to decline from its peak in early April.

But developing a plan to stamp out the virus requires learning whether the newest cases are primarily health care workers getting infected on public transportation, for example, or members of the general public sheltering at home, Cuomo said.

The number of new Covid-19 hospitalizations in the state fell slightly again on Friday, to 831. But 299 people died from the virus on Friday, a total that is well below the worst levels of the pandemic last month but up from 289 the day before.

"That number has remained obnoxiously and terrifyingly high," Cuomo said.

Cuomo: Erie County's hospitalizations greater than two downstate counties

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