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County and State Show Progress in Latest Phase of Reopening

Sun, 06/28/2020 - 15:11
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on June 24 as he and the governors of Connecticut and New Jersey announced new travel restrictions.

On Sunday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said Covid-19 data are still looking good as Long Island continues the first full week of phase three of N.Y. Forward, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's economic reopening plan.

Out of the 5,095 people taking diagnostic tests in the most recent 24-hour reporting period, 53 tested positive for Covid-19, for a 1-percent infection rate. The total number of virus cases in Suffolk reached 41,306, with an additional 18,970 cases detected after-the-fact through antibody testing. There are 75 people in hospitals county-wide, down two from Saturday’s report, and 26 people in intensive care units, an increase of one. Another person died of the virus, bringing the count of Covid-19 deaths to 1,979.

Statewide, .99 percent of people tested over the last 24 hours showed they had the virus, for a total of 616 new cases across New York. Hospitalizations dropped below 900 and there were five Covid-19 deaths in the entire state, the lowest number since March 15.

"Everything is moving well through phase three. . . . These, again, continue to be flat, good overall numbers," Mr. Bellone said.

On Friday, Governor Cuomo announced an order stopping paid sick leave for state employees who have voluntarily chosen to travel to places with high Covid-19 infection rates. He previously enacted a travel advisory requiring a 14-day quarantine for anyone who arrives in New York from states where Covid-19 is not yet on the decline. Paid sick leave is still available to those whose jobs require them to travel to such destinations.

Governor Cuomo has also ordered an investigation of the drive-in graduation ceremony of Horace Greeley High School in Westchester, held June 20 at the Chappaqua Train Station. After the ceremony, a student who had recently returned from Florida became ill with Covid-19, and four more people at the  graduation ceremony who came in contact with that person have since tested positive for the virus.

"New Yorkers have controlled the spread of this unprecedented virus by being smart and disciplined, and our progress to date is illustrated by the current low numbers of new cases and hospitalizations," Governor Cuomo said in a statement on Saturday. "But as we are seeing in other states [that] reopened quickly, the pandemic is far from over and we need [to] stay vigilant. We're prepared to do the aggressive testing and contact tracing required to slow and ultimately control any potential clusters of new cases like the one in Westchester County. If we are going to maintain the progress we've seen, we need everyone to take personal responsibility."

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