New York City marked a grim milestone on Saturday, reporting its millionth COVID case since the start of the pandemic.
Confirmation came after the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s daily update of pandemic data. It shows 1,000,469 confirmed and probable cases through August 14th.
The city health department has also recorded more than 117,000 hospitalizations and 33,000 confirmed and probable COVID deaths during the same time period. Just over 8.8 million people live in the five boroughs, according to 2020 census data released this week.
The state health department’s records differ from the city’s tallies, showing only 983,000 cases. That’s due to a reporting lag—the state’s tracker is a couple of days behind. The two departments also collect their numbers from separate sources and process them differently.
The benchmark comes as COVID cases and positivity are on the rise across the five boroughs, driven almost entirely by the delta variant. The highly contagious mutant accounts for 96% of cases sequenced in the last week. The city reported a seven-day rolling average of 1,817 new cases on Saturday, up from 231 cases on July 1st.
But progress is being made. Vaccination rates have almost doubled in the last month, since the city and state began to roll out vaccine mandates and cash incentives—and as fear of the delta variant grew.