Seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate on LI tops 4% for first time since

The seven-day average of new positive COVID-19 cases on Long Island topped 4% for the first time in more than two months, according to state statistics released Sunday, as health experts warned New Yorkers to take precautions during the Thanksgiving holiday.

That average of new cases on Long Island was 4.16% on Saturday. Statewide, there were 6,857 new positive cases reported out of 191,142 tests results.

Long Island accounted for 996 of those new cases with 410 in Nassau County and 586 in Suffolk County. There were 31 deaths attributed to COVID-19 statewide on Saturday, including one in Nassau County.

The seven-day average of cases has remained under 4% since Sept. 15, according to the state. Less than two weeks ago, on Nov. 11, it was under 3%.

“We are on an uptick and it is a concern,” said Dr. David Hirschwerk, an infectious disease expert at Northwell Health. “Even though we have a fairly high portion of people vaccinated, the delta variant is very contagious.”

Hirschwerk added that many people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are more than six months past their final shot and might not have received a booster shot to further protect them against the disease.

“Because we know people intend to congregate for the holidays, it does set up a situation where it could drive infections even higher,” he said.

Hirschwerk said there are steps people can take to stay safe during the holiday season, such as avoiding gatherings if you are sick, having people tested for COVID-19 in advance and ventilating indoor spaces.

Health experts across the country have urged people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 to get the shots and for fully vaccinated people who are eligible to get booster shots, especially if they want to celebrate the holidays with friends and family.

Late last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded the eligibility for booster shots to all adults who received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines at least six months ago. Those who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine were previously eligible for a booster at least two months after the shot, under CDC guidance issued in October.

“If you’re vaccinated, and…

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