BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Compared to March, New York is seeing a slight rise in the percentage of positive COVID tests.

After positivity rates hovered around one and two percent last month, recent days are showing rates in the four percent range. Since April 7, New York actually hasn’t been below four percent.

In Western New York, this increased prevalence is also being seen, even more so than the state average. From Sunday to Monday, the positivity rate for the region went from 9.2 percent to 13.3 percent.

The Finger Lakes aren’t far behind, at 10.3 percent.

Last month, Erie County rarely saw a day where new daily cases exceeded 100. In April, it hasn’t seen one below it.

On Tuesday, the Erie County Department of Health says there were 443 new cases, not including self-reported, at-home results. In the past week, there have been 2,090 cases.

County Executive Mark Poloncarz said that Erie County is now in the “medium risk” categorization for COVID-19 transmission. That’s due to the current case average for the past seven days, which is 219 per 100,000 residents.

“Thankfully, hospitalizations remain low: 43 in total, only 18 for COVID,” Poloncarz wrote on Twitter.

Health officials have been looking into newer variants, including “XE” and “BA.2,” the latter of which has also been deemed “stealth omicron.”

BA.2, has been called “extra contagious,” but the same Associated Press report says it “doesn’t seem to cause more severe disease.”

Looking at XE, the World Health Organization, as of Tuesday, has not called it a variant of interest or concern, according to the AP report.

COVID-19 News