ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York and New Jersey are back atop of the list of U.S. states with the highest rates of infection — a year after they became a global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.
Even as the vaccination campaign has ramped up, the number of people getting infected in New Jersey has crept to by 37% in a little more than a month, to about 23,600 every seven days.
About 54,600 people in New York tested positive for the virus in the last week.
The two states now rank No. 1 and 2 in new infections per capita among U.S. states.
But the situation in New York and New Jersey mirrors a national trend that has seen case numbers inch up in recent days.
Nursing homes closed again
The high rates of COVID-19 throughout New York have left the majority of its nursing homes closed for most indoor visits despite relaxed guidance meant to help open them up for visitors.
A little more than half of New York nursing homes were ineligible for indoor visits in mid-March.
New York updated its visitation rules Thursday in a way that will now allow visits to resume under certain conditions, even if a resident has recently tested positive.
But that relaxed standard might not clear the way for visitation in many homes having trouble keeping the virus out.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.