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Refrigerated trailers storing bodies of COVID-19 victims are seen at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Brooklyn, New York, the United States, on Dec. 3, 2020. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

"Congress MUST deliver a COVID relief bill to support states before recessing. It's time for Washington to step up and deliver desperately needed relief," says the governor.

NEW YORK, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Of the 208,297 COVID-19 tests reported on Thursday in New York State, 11,271 were positive, or 5.41 percent of the total, up from 4.84 percent one day earlier, tweeted Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday.

It was the first time that the rate surpassed 5 percent in months. The rate topped 4 percent on Nov. 28 for the first time since May and has remained above the level so far.

The COVID-19 test positivity rate in the focus areas under the state's micro-cluster strategy, where the outbreaks are targeted for their severity and potential of spread, was 7.35 percent on Thursday, up from 5.91 percent on Wednesday, said Cuomo.

A patient is wheeled outside the emergency room of Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, the United States, on Dec. 3, 2020. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

The statewide positivity rate excluding these focus areas was 4.79 percent on Thursday, up from 4.49 percent one day earlier, said the governor.

The total hospitalizations were 4,222 on Thursday, up from 4,063 on Wednesday, added Cuomo, who had warned that the state's COVID-19 hospitalizations could reach 6,000 in weeks based on the current trends.

"Congress MUST deliver a COVID relief bill to support states before recessing. It's time for Washington to step up and deliver desperately needed relief," said the governor in another tweet.

People wait in line for COVID-19 tests at a CityMD Urgent Care in Brooklyn, New York, the United States, on Dec. 3, 2020. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

As of Friday afternoon, the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reported 34,793 coronavirus deaths in New York State, the worst in the country.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday signaled willingness to embrace a trimmed-down COVID-19 relief bill, urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to join negotiations.

The Democrats-controlled House of Representatives passed a 2.2-trillion-dollar relief bill in early October, but Senate Republicans have recently been pushing for a 500-billion-dollar package. On Tuesday, McConnell quickly rejected the 908-billion-dollar bipartisan plan after its release. ■

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