Nassau, Suffolk has a high prevalence of COVID-19, according to the CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday raised the risk of COVID-19 infection in Nassau and Suffolk counties “at the community level,” and health officials are now urging Long Islanders to wear masks in all public places.

The change, which puts Long Island at its highest risk, comes at a time when the number of coronavirus cases has been steadily rising in recent months – with the proliferation of omicron subvariants and the end of mask mandates in health care disputes. in schools and other crowded indoor buildings.

The CDC recommendation is not followed, and masks are required in several parts of the state, including hospitals, nursing homes, public transportation, and local airports.

The CDC identifies a weekly community-level update of the county based on three indicators: hospitalization of 100,000 people in a new COVID-19 hospital over seven days; The average seven-day percentage of inpatient beds used by patients with COVID-19; and the total number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in seven days.

Recommendations for those living in areas with high levels of COVID-19 infection include wearing masks indoors in all public places for all people, regardless of vaccination status.

According to the CDC, people at risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19 should take high precautions, including avoiding additional closed activities and developing a rapid test plan.

According to the State Department of Health, 1,150 Nassau residents tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county’s seven-day average to 11.1 percent. Data in Suffolk were slightly behind, with a seven-day positive of 9.8% and 980 new cases on Wednesday. The seven-day positive level for Long Island is 10.5% overall.

In comparison, COVID-19 levels in Long Island rose to about 1% a year ago and to 27% in January, reflecting the rapid growth of the original omicron variant.

Dr. Stephen Carsons, director of the NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island Vaccine Center, said the island’s true positive level is even higher because many people who pass a positive test on home packages do not report this information to doctors or public health officials.

“We still need to protect ourselves by using masks when we are fit for vaccination,” Carsons said. “If people don’t feel really well, they should get tested. Many people think it’s the flu or the flu. So they can infect others. And they’re relatively good for a number of reasons, such as age, access to medication and vaccinations.” They can infect someone who is very vulnerable. ”

Five districts of New York remain in the middle or lower category. However, most states have a high prevalence of COVID-19, with 137 counties nationwide.

Although cases have re-emerged in Long Island, hospitalization and viral death rates remain low, due to the high level of vaccinations in the region and the large number of people who became temporarily immune after being infected with the virus a few months ago. he said.

Republican Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, who campaigned against the mask mandates, said in a statement that “the county is not in crisis.”

“Nassau has returned to normal and we will make every effort to help residents overcome the social and financial burdens caused by the pandemic,” he added.

Suffolk County Executive Democrat Steve Bellon said in a statement, “COVID-19 is still here and we urge all residents to take the necessary precautions.”

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