Long Island COVID-19 Cases at Highest Since Late May

covid-19 test
A health worker takes a swab sample from a man to test for COVID-19 in New York on Sept. 25, 2020. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

Long Island’s COVID-19 rate recently hit its highest point since late May, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

On Long Island, the infection rate was 2.6 percent on Saturday, Cuomo said. In Nassau County, this means that out of the 7,000 to 10,000 residents tested daily, between 182 to 260 people tested positive for the coronavirus. New cases are rising quickly. The region had been holding the line at around 1 percent through October and was at 1.4 percent on Nov. 1.

“Clearly we are not immune to the unprecedented surge in cases that we are seeing nationwide,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran told reporters Monday. “We’re not that high yet as we’re seeing in the most alarming places, but our numbers are slowly going up.”

Curran discussed the uptick in cases during a news conference to promote the opening of a new rapid COVID-19 testing site at North Shore Hebrew Academy in Great Neck. The initiative is a collaboration between Northwell Health and the county’s department of health.

On the whole, New York State has also seen its COVID-19 positivity rate increase to 2 percent in recent days.

“The numbers are undeniable,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday. “The best you can do is manage the increase.”

Currently, hospitals in Nassau are treating 95 COVID-19 patients, with 22 in ICU and six on ventilators, Curran added.

Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein, the county health commissioner, attributed the rise in cases to social gatherings that do not follow COVID-19 protocols, such as social distancing and face mask wearing.

“We’re not saying that people don’t socialize anymore, never leave your house,” he said. “We’re asking people to do it smartly, to stay distanced, to wear masks. But large gatherings of people without masks, socializing — all it takes is one case to spread to many others.”

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