Blakeman to Hochul: Nassau ‘not in crisis,’ doctors say Omicron decline is coming soon
The war of words between Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and Gov. Kathy Hochul continued Saturday.
Blakeman tried to set a new mask policy for kids in school earlier in the week through an executive order. Gov. Hochul said he did not have that authority and there will be consequences for those who defy state rules.
“My message to the governor is please be open minded about this,” Blakeman said at the Tobay Beach at-home test distribution Saturday morning. “Understand this is what the people want, at least in Nassau County. It's a very big state… We are not in crisis.”
He added that there was “mask fatigue” in Nassau and that it’s time to “get back to normal.”
On Long Island, the seven-day positivity rate is 26.46%. While it's still the highest in the state, it's the third straight day the numbers are slightly down. Overall in New York, 21.17% of Friday's tests came back positive.
Many doctors say the end of the Omicron variant is just weeks away.
“If the patterns follow what's predicted, hopefully we're soon to reach a plateau and start to see it drop,” says Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein, Nassau’s health commissioner. “We knew this with all the holiday travel that we would see some kind of increase in cases but we're hopeful we're getting toward the backside.”
Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein says he is hopefully that cases will begin declining sharply toward the end of January and February “will be a much better month for us with regard to the pandemic.”
Doctors say even when the Omicron surge plateaus, there's still the possibility that new variants will emerge from unvaccinated parts of the world. They say the best protection is to get vaccinated and get boosted.