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Monroe County reports 729 new COVID cases, tops previous high


Monroe County reported 729 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest tally for any single day during the pandemic. It also reported 16 new deaths.

In the past week, the county has averaged 634 new cases per day, and a seven-day rolling positivity rate of 8.8 percent. Throughout the week, the Finger Lakes region has had the highest positivity rate of any region in the state.

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the Finger Lakes region stayed relatively stable Thursday, decreasing to 736 from the 741 reported by the state the day prior. The number of patients in intensive care remained at 141.

Across the region, 28 percent of hospital beds and 36 percent of intensive care beds remained available on average over the past seven days, according to data provided by state officials. Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to use the availability of hospital beds across the state’s regions to determine whether a region should become a “red zone.” A region would receive the designation if its infection rate shows that within three weeks hospitals in the region will likely reach 90 percent of their capacity.

Red zone status means non-essential businesses close, restaurants become take-out only, and public gatherings are prohibited.

On Thursday, Cuomo warned New Yorkers to be mindful of social gatherings over the holiday season.

“On COVID, let's solidify a simple message that we can all agree with. We want to slow the spread, we want to avoid shutdowns, and together we can do it," Cuomo said in a statement. "We slow the spread by being smart during the holiday season. It's a difficult situation and people come together.”

As of Thursday, there were 4,909 active COVID-19 cases in Monroe County and to date there were 429 deaths.

Gino Fanelli is a CITY staff writer. He can be reached at (585) 775-9692 or