A medical technician works at a drive-thru coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing facility at the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals company in New York on September 17, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Suffolk County reported Wednesday the most new coronavirus cases in one day since the pandemic began nine months ago, officials said.

New York State data showed Suffolk had 1,650 new cases while Nassau County had 1,273.

“To put it simply, today’s COVID-19 numbers are shocking,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.Not only is this the highest number of new cases reported since the onset of the pandemic, but the double-digit positivity rate puts us right back to where we were in early May.”

Suffolk’s positivity rate was 12.8 percent, triple what is was on Dec. 1, while Nassau’s infection rate is 10.5 percent, double what it was a month ago and the highest since the reopening.


“Our numbers continue to move in the wrong direction and the last thing we want is to have our businesses and schools close when we are so close to having large-scale vaccine distribution,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said. “We need to all stick to our commonsense guidance to avoid welcoming the new year with new restrictions. I urge residents to celebrate the New Year responsibly so we can enter 2021 with a clear path to our recovery.” 

Bellone also urged New Year’s Eve revelers to celebrate responsibly.

“We are the only ones who can change these numbers,” he said. “We have seen this virus spread during the holiday season through small gatherings in homes where people are more likely to let their guard down. As we approach New Year’s Eve, I urge Suffolk County residents to limit gatherings and to do what we know works: wear face coverings and socially distance.”

For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.