The overall positive COVID-19 infection rate is declining statewide, but Long Island has seen a surge in new cases and hospitalizations in the post-holiday season.
In the latest data released by the state, Long Island ranked among the highest in the state for both infection rate and percentage of residents hospitalized with COVID-19 in any of New York’s 10 regions.
During his latest COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, Jan. 20 in Albany, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo highlighted the regions most in danger of overwhelming the hospital systems:
- Long Island: 1,671 COVID-19 patients (0.06 percent of the region’s population);
- Finger Lakes: 741 (0.06 percent);
- Mohawk Valley: 297 (0.06 percent);
- Mid-Hudson: 1,107 (0.05 percent);
- Capital Region: 553 (0.05 percent);
- New York City: 3,745 (0.04 percent);
- Western New York: 487 (0.04 percent);
- Central New York: 320 (0.04 percent);
- Southern Tier: 243 (0.04 percent);
- North Country: 109 (0.03 percent).
Additionally, Cuomo said that Long Island was among the regions with the highest seven-day average positive COVID-19 infection rate on Jan. 20:
- Mohawk Valley: 7.70 percent;
- Long Island: 7.47 percent;
- North Country: 7.13 percent;
- Capital Region: 7.08 percent;
- Mid-Hudson: 7 percent;
- Finger Lakes: 6.47 percent;
- Western New York: 6.45 percent;
- Central New York: 5.77 percent;
- New York City: 5.70 percent;
- Southern Tier: 3.57 percent.
“We’re seeing more people going into hospitals, which puts nurses, doctors, and workers at risk to exposure,” Cuomo said. “You’re putting them more at risk and it’s all just a. function of behavior. Whether or not the numbers change is up to you.
“We see Long Island on the list with is new and concerning, but those are the top three in the state,” he added. “That’s the period we’re in right now. It’s a footrace to see how fast can you produce the vaccine versus how fast is the infection spreading.”
If Long Island finds itself in danger of hitting its 90 percent hospital capacity rate within three weeks, Cuomo has previously vowed to shut down the entire region for several weeks in an attempt to reboot and get ahead of the spread of the virus.
Cuomo said that despite some regions, including Long Island, seeing new spikes in their COVID-19 numbers, the state is seeing an overall improvement as New York distances itself from holiday celebrations and gatherings.
“Overall this is all good news. The positivity rate has been dropping and dropping across the state, and that is good news,” he said. “It’s at different rates of decline in different parts of the state, but overall the average statewide is looking better.
“When you look at the regions you see all are basically following a general curve,” Cuomo continued. “It went up (after the holidays) flattened a little bit and it’s coming down as the holidays get more and more in the past.”
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