Cuomo: Long Island has NY's highest 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate
Long Island posted the state's highest regional COVID-19 infection rate as of Monday, numbers that left Gov. Andrew Cuomo feeling concerned.
Cuomo says even though the state has gotten past the post-holiday surge as a whole, Long Island's coronavirus numbers are heading in the wrong direction. He cited a jump in hospitalizations and a seven-day positive rate of about 7.8% on the Island.
In Nassau, 1,100 new cases were reported, and 11 more residents died from the virus. In Suffolk, there were 1,300 new cases and a rise in death toll by 12.
"Long Island has taken a relative jump, which is concerning and we're watching that, because Long Island jumped up, not in the right direction," says Cuomo.
Stony Brook Medicine's Dr. Bettina Fries says the fact that most of the new cases are in the suburbs as opposed to the city is very concerning.
"They have big houses and they have big families, they live close by. There's not a lot you can do, everything is locked down, there's not a lot you can do. So, they visit each other and that's the problem," says Fries.
Fries says another concern is that we may think our families are safe to be around, because we know them. But she says the same restrictions we've been talking about -- not gathering with people outside of your household -- still apply."
"They have just as many asymptomatic transmitters in their families as they would have anywhere else," says Fries. "And the difference is when you meet with your family, you take your mask off, you're cheerful, you laugh, you drink alcohol together, you eat together and boom, you get a transmission."
Fries says with the rising of the more contagious U.K. variant of COVID-19, she's worried the area could soon see widespread transmission of it if people don't consistently practice measures to slow the spread.
Fries says even though there is light at the end of the tunnel with more doses of the vaccine on the way, they are not here yet and Long Islanders must stay vigilant with hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing.