yellow zones
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced four Long Island communities have entered into a yellow zone based on COVID-19 infection rates.

Hampton Bays, Riverhead, Great Neck and Massapequa Park are now yellow zones under New York State’s COVID-19 Cluster Action Initiative, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced during a news briefing today.

Yellow zone restrictions include 50 percent capacity at houses of worship and four people maximum per table at restaurants, indoors and outdoors. Schools will remain open and are mandated to test 20 percent of students and staff on a weekly basis. Non-residential mass gatherings are limited to 25 people and residential gatherings are limited to 10 people.

“The COVID rate is all a function of our actions,” Cuomo said. “There is no predetermined result here.”

The infection rate is 5.1 percent in Hampton Bays, 4.6 percent in Riverhead, 4.7 percent in Great Neck and 3.9 percent in Massapequa Park. 

Parts of the Five Towns were included last month in a yellow zone due to a spike in high infection rates in that area that later decreased. The next level is an orange zone warning in which non-essential businesses, such as gyms and personal care, are closed and schools are required to be remote-only. The highest level of restriction is the red zone in which only essential businesses open and dining reverts to takeout only as it did between when the virus peaked in March.

The seven-day average COVID-19 infection rate for the Island was 3.23 percent as of Sunday and the statewide positivity rate for the same time frame was 2.89 percent, according to the governor’s office.

This comes just days before Thanksgiving, the beginning of a high socialization period as the holiday season begins, which Cuomo called “a dangerous situation” combined with the current rate in which cases are rising.

Cuomo said the state infection rate could hit 10 percent in January if New Yorkers aren’t careful.

“Between now and January, there will be increased social interaction, and the consequence, I believe, will be an increase in the rate of cases,” Cuomo said. “The only question of how much and how fast is up to you.”

-With Tim Bolger

For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus

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