No one wants to focus anymore on the threat that COVID once posed...but the troubling fact is that numbers are on the rise again in Western New York.

According to WGRZ-TV 34,000 vaccine doses were administered in the past day or so, but New York State's COVID numbers continue to rise despite that fact.

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The seven-day average percentage of positive test results statewide was 1.26 percent, up from 0.54 percent from a week ago. Two deaths were also reported on Saturday.

"New Yorkers have fought COVID-19 every single step of the way during this pandemic, but there's one final push we have to make, and that's the need for everyone to get vaccinated," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement on Sunday.

"Getting shots in arms is key to our success against this terrible virus, and if you haven't gotten yours yet, I urge you to make an appointment or walk into one of the many sites we have across the state. Help yourself, your family, and your community by getting your shot today."

 

The seven-day average for positive COVID-19 tests here in Western New York was 1.36% on Saturday. That number had grown from 1.13 percent on Friday.

Just two weeks ago, the Western New York region was at 0.45 percent.

But the question remains...why?  The answer may be in part the fast-spreading delta variant, slowing vaccination rates, as well as Fourth of July gatherings.

In May, the CDC issued new, less-restrictive recommendations for mask-wearing for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The most recent guidelines say that "vaccinated people can now go without masks in most indoor and outdoor settings. Likewise, unvaccinated people can forgo masks outside as long as they're not in crowded settings."

Due to the more contagious delta variant of the coronavirus, which is now spreading across the U.S., the World Health Organization recommends that even vaccinated individuals wear masks and social distance around other people.

It's important to keep in mind that according to experts vaccinated people can still get COVID-19, but their risk of becoming infected is now much lower. And if they do become infected, their symptoms are likely to be mild.

 

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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