Long Island Covid-19 Cases Still Rising

Dr. Saulo Castellano labels a nasal swab sample inside a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at the Alliant Energy Center complex, as the coronavirus disease outbreak continues in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S. October 31, 2020. REUTERS/Bing Guan

The coronavirus infection rate continues to rise on Long Island as local officials sound the alarm that the public must remain vigilant and not get complacent about efforts to curb the pandemic.

As of Tuesday, Nassau County officials reported the latest infection rate is 5.8 percent, the highest it’s been in months, and Suffolk County officials said its latest positivity rate was 6.5 percent. New York State officials said the infection rate for the Long Island region was 5.68 percent as of Monday.

“Today’s news about impending [Food and Drug Administration] approvals for Covid-19 vaccines is monumental, but we must not allow it to lull us into a false sense of complacency,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said Tuesday. “Our data is beginning to show a more even distribution of disease activity among all age-groups across the county. We have now reached a clear point of community spread, which calls for increased vigilance from all of us.”

There were 135,519 confirmed Covid-19 cases on Long Island — 69,024 in Suffolk and 66,495 in Nassau as of Tuesday, state date shows. There were 722,464 cases statewide, 15.1 million nationwide, and 68.3 million worldwide as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

Suffolk saw four straight days of more than 1,000 cases per day last week, and Bellone noted the county saw only 12 days of more than 1,000 new cases per day during the peak of the first wave in the spring. Suffolk had another 1,164 new cases on Monday compared to Nassau’s 863. Bellone reiterated that small gatherings remain the largest risk of spreading the virus, besides not wearing a mask or practicing social distancing.

“I cannot stress enough the dangers posed by small indoor gatherings,” Bellone said. “Just because you are in your home with people you trust does not mean you are safe. If we don’t change our behaviors quickly our hospital system will be at risk of being overwhelmed and we will lose more lives.”

Suffolk reported that as of Saturday there were 359 patients hospitalized and 57 patients in intensive care units. Nassau’s hospitals are reporting 343 Covid-19 patients, 50 in ICU, and 34 intubated, officials said. LI had 18 percent of its hospital beds available and 25 percent of its intensive care unit beds available on a seven-day average as of Tuesday, state data shows.

“While we may all be tired, it is abundantly clear that this virus is not,” said Bellone. “Everything we do now and over the next few weeks is about saving lives and preventing our hospital system from being overwhelmed.”

For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus

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