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COVID-19: Recent Rise In Cases On Long Island A 'Blip,' Cuomo Says

There has been a small uptick in COVID-19 cases on Long Island in recent days.
There has been a small uptick in COVID-19 cases on Long Island in recent days. Photo Credit:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not concerned about a recent uptick in COVID-19 infection rates on Long Island, calling the number a “blip” in the fight against the virus.

Long Island has seen a small spike in reported COVID-19 cases over the course of several days, though Cuomo believes it’s more of an aberration in the numbers following the recent holiday weekend.

“You can have blips in the numbers … especially when you get to the weekend or holiday numbers,” Cuomo said. “I say take them with a grain of salt, because the samples can be a little different.

“Different people are out on the weekends or the holidays, so that’s when you do get those little blips.”

On Long Island, the reported infection rate over the past five days has risen to nearly 2 percent:

  • Friday, Sept. 4: 1.5 percent;
  • Saturday, Sept. 5: 0.9 percent;
  • Sunday, Sept. 6: 1.0 percent;
  • Monday, Sept. 7: 1.5 percent;
  • Tuesday, Sept. 8: 1.8 percent.

“My gauge is that 1 percent is very low, almost artificially low,” Cuomo said. “The experts don’t understand how we have it so low, but we expected it when we started to increase activity.

“But when you get to two, alarm bells start ringing and I start getting nervous,” the governor added. “If we hit 3 percent I start to have heart palpitations.”

One possible reason for the increase in reported cases is that some have been contact traced back to SUNY Oneonta, which saw a recent outbreak in COVID-19 cases, where some students from Long Island listed their home address as opposed to Otsego County, where the campus is located.

“I wouldn’t worry about Long Island, the numbers will fluctuate from day-to-day, and some of it was a matter of SUNY Oneonta students that were showing up in the Long Island numbers,” he said.

“So that’s good news actually … the 1.8 (percent),” Cuomo added. “We know how we got to 1.8, and that’s an answer. And that’s reassuring. It’s not just random community spread.” 

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