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Bellone: Suffolk COVID-19 numbers climb over 5% for first time since May

The county executive said, "There is no doubt we are in that second wave," adding that the county's positivity rate was 1.2% at the start of November, with just 42 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

News 12 Staff

Dec 1, 2020, 11:13 PM

Updated 1,299 days ago

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Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone gave his first COVID-19 news conference of December with a stark comparison between the area's current numbers versus the numbers from past months.
Bellone says the county's current COVID-19 positivity rate has hit 5.2%, climbing above 5% for the first time since May 17. He also says county hospitalizations are at 248, with numbers climbing over 200 for the first time since June 3.
The county executive said, "There is no doubt we are in that second wave," adding that the county's positivity rate was 1.2% at the start of November, with just 42 COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Bellone and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have continued to drive home that they see the biggest spreading events as small gatherings.
The Suffolk executive said "egregious" violations have been rare but did report a recent mass gathering in Brookhaven on Nov. 30. He said the gathering of 300-400 people led to multiple 911 calls and a police response. He says it was found that the gathering host was not the homeowner, but an Airbnb renter. He says those responsible will be held accountable.
Suffolk Police Chief Stuart Cameron says the property, located on Hawkins Lane, was quite large. He says the renter was from New Jersey and that police were on scene for about four hours, adding that it took awhile to clear the area because it was on a dead end.
Cameron says attendees were cooperative, and that police were on the scene relatively early into the party. He says those responsible could face charges.
Bellone joined Gov. Cuomo Monday, as he revealed changes in the way cluster designations are made, including how hospitalization rates will now come into play.
Bellone was joined by President of Suffolk Schools Superintendents Assocation Ron Masera, who talked about the county's COVID-19 school protocols. Bellone said that keeping schools open was his "top priority" and that they are not seeing significant spread within schools. Masera also said that he thinks keeping kids in school is helping prevent community spread.
The county also recently launched school-based testing programs in Hampton Bays and Riverhead, which Bellone said was the first of its kind on Long Island.


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