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COVID-19: Long Island Takes Step Back In Reopening Benchmarks

Here's where regions currently stand amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Here's where regions currently stand amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Photo Credit:

While five of the 10 regions in New York have started slowly kickstarting their economies, Long Island has come up short in meeting all seven of the metrics set forth by the state before being permitted to reopen amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

As of Friday, May 15, when parts of New York “unpaused” after two months of being shut down, Long Island has met just four of seven metrics laid out by state health officials.

According to the Department of Health, Long Island has not seen 

  • a 14-day decline in hospital deaths, or fewer than five deaths over a three-day average, 
  • more than two hospitalizations for COVID-19 per 100,000 residents, 
  • does not have the required 30 percent available threshold of hospital beds.

Earlier in the week, Long Island had hit five of the seven metrics, though it has the highest rate of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in the state.

Long Island measured at 2.88 new hospitalizations for every 100,000 residents. New York City’s rate is lower at 2.54 per 100,000 residents. The rate must be two or lower per 100,000 residents for a region to get the green light to reopen in phases.

Here's where you can see a breakdown of regions battling COVID-19.

Central New York, the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier were permitted to reopen on Friday. Western New York, New York City, the mid-Hudson, Long Island, and Capital Region are still lagging behind.

“While there will always be daily fluctuations in the data, both Nassau County and the Long Island region’s overall trajectory continue to head in the right direction," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said in a statement. "Nassau County saw almost a straight month of declining hospitalization rates before today, so we remain optimistic as we continue our downward descent to reopening.”

Downstate regions will reportedly be adhering to “stay at home” orders through Thursday, May 28, and will not be permitted to reopen until it hits the state’s provided mandates.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted on Thursday night that “other (regions” can be unpaused the moment they hit their benchmarks. New Yorkers be proud. Your actions bent the curve.”

According to the state Department of Health, 1,298,757 New Yorkers have been tested for COVID-19, with 343,051 testing positive. On Long Island, there have been 37,544 positive cases, with 38,743 in Nassau. Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in early March, there have been 3,713 deaths related to the virus on Long Island.

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