ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Governor Kathy Hochul has extended her emergency pandemic powers through August 22, despite dropping numbers statewide.

The emergency powers allow the governor to dictate the state’s COVID-19 response without legislative approval. Executive orders are re-evaluated every 30 days.

In the state’s latest COVID-19 update on Monday, health officials said the total number of positive cases was 4,976 – down from 9,253 on July 14. The statewide positivity rate remains below 10%.

The Centers for Disease Control COVID tracker shows nine downstate counties with high COVID transmission levels. The majority of the state has low-to-medium levels.

The governor’s office has said the emergency extension gives the state the flexibility to troubleshoot hospital capacity issues, with numbers climbing in that department. As of Monday’s update, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID statewide sat at 2,461- up three from the week before.

Also mentioned in the executive order is the omicron variant, which represented more than 95% of all viruses in circulation on Monday, health officials said. A total of 25 new deaths were reported in the Monday update, raising the statewide total to 56,785 since the beginning of the pandemic.