Suffolk County sees highest COVID positivity rate since height of pandemic

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Suffolk County officials on Wednesday painted a grim picture as they announced the area’s positivity rate is similar to what they saw in April.

County Executive Steve Bellone was frank when he said the numbers in Suffolk are not good.

In the last day, 501 people have tested positive for the virus, leaving the county with a 4% positivity rate on the day before a major holiday.

Health officials say the county has not seen a positivity rate like this since May 18, when New York was coming down from the height of the pandemic. Likewise, there have not been that many positive cases in a single day since April.

“To put this in perspective, three weeks ago from today, we were at a 1% positivity rate and today we stand at 4%,” Bellone said. “On hospitalizations we're at 55, three weeks ago today and today we have 161 COVID positive patients in our hospitals.”

Bellone is pleading with all Suffolk County residents to be smart and stay socially distance on Thanksgiving Day or the numbers will continue to climb.

“Thanksgiving and with the upcoming holidays, another surge in cases, beyond what we've already seen now, is virtually guaranteed if we do not take the proper precautions,” he said.

Bellone notes that says extra police officers will be out and about responding to reports of large gatherings at homes during the holiday.

While officers will not be patrolling and counting cars, they will be responding if neighbors report a large number of people at one home.

The current gathering limit for indoor events in just 10 people in New York State.