Parts of Long Island May Enter COVID-19 Yellow Zone This Week

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned parts of Long Island may enter a yellow zone on Sunday.

As coronavirus surges in some communities on Long Island, parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties could see added New York State-mandated restrictions this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned on Sunday.

The governor did not say which areas may be deemed a precautionary yellow zone — capping restaurant patrons to four per table and requiring weekly testing of students and teachers, among other measures — as part of the state’s Cluster Action Initiative. But he did mention the highest infection rate on LI was in Brentwood at 6 percent.

“You see by community the variance,” Cuomo told reporters during a news conference. “It’s not what’s my state infection rate, it’s not even what’s my regional infection rate — what’s your community infection rate? Look at the difference even on Long Island: You go from Massapequa 3.6, Freeport’s 4.5.”

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.

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.

Outside of New York City, the infection rates that trigger the zones are 3 to 4 percent for yellow, 4 to 5 for orange, and 5 to 6 for red, but the rates must be maintained for a 10-day average to bring state action.

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.”

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