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Cuomo: NY's COVID-19 hospitalizations decline, infection rate steady

Beachgoers at Robert Moses State Park Field 5

Beachgoers at Robert Moses State Park Field 5 beach on Saturday. Credit: James Carbone

COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York State again hit a new low and the statewide infection rate remained relatively steady, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Saturday.

A total of 743 people remained hospitalized, a decrease of 22 patients, according to state figures. The number hasn't been that low since March 18, Cuomo said in a statement.

Of the 69,817 coronavirus tests conducted in New York State on Friday, 754 — or 1.08% — came back positive, according to state figures. 

On Long Island, the percentage of positive results ticked up slightly, from 0.9% Thursday to 1% Friday. New York City's infection rate went from 1% Thursday to 1.3% Friday, according to the figures.

An additional 11 people died of causes related to COVID-19 on Friday, Cuomo said. He said the 754 confirmed virus cases brought the statewide total to 406,305.

"As New York continues to show progress combating COVID-19 with low hospitalizations and a low rate of positive cases, we remain alarmed by spikes in much of the country and the risk of a lack of compliance at home as the state pursues a phased, data-driven reopening," Cuomo said. "New Yorkers' vigilance, courage and adoption of basic behaviors — mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing — has driven our ability to control the virus, and we have to continue on that path to success."

Nassau County tested 4,695 people and received 39 positive results, putting its rate of residents testing positive at 0.8%. 

"Today marks two weeks since the Fourth of July with no major spike in positive cases," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said. "However, we see COVID continues to surge elsewhere, so let’s continue to follow the common-sense guidance like wearing masks and social distancing."

Surges continue in other states. Texas reported a new daily record for virus deaths Friday, according to The Associated Press. Florida on Saturday reported more than 10,000 new cases of the virus and 90 additional deaths. Around Seattle, which was the nation's first hot spot for the virus that causes COVID-19, a new wave of patients is showing up at emergency departments, officials said.

Nassau's hospital systems reported 45 hospitalizations, which is a decrease of one from the day before. A total of 13 COVID-19-related patients were reported in the intensive care unit, an increase of six, Curran said.

"I’m pleased to report there were no deaths in Nassau County due to COVID-19 yesterday," Curran said. "We are well into Phase 4 of reopening our economy, and we continue to keep this virus on the run."

Nassau had 39 new cases for a new total of 42,594.

Suffolk County reported 58 additional cases, bringing the total to 42,440, according to state figures.

Elsewhere, White House health adviser Anthony Fauci said New York has handled the pandemic “correctly,” in significantly bending the virus curve.

“We know that when you do it properly, you bring down those cases. We have done it. We have done it in New York,” Fauci said in an interview with “PBS NewsHour” that aired Friday evening.

Fauci added, “New York got hit worse than any place in the world. And they did it correctly by doing the things that you’re talking about.”

On a sunny day with temperatures near 90 degrees, beaches across Long Island quickly filled with visitors Saturday, with several hitting capacity by noon. With a hot weekend forecast, Cuomo on Friday had urged New Yorkers to practice social distancing as they visited beaches and pools.

Field 6 at Jones Beach was closed to incoming traffic by 8:30 a.m. Robert Moses State Park was declared at capacity by 9:40 a.m., according to the New York State parks' website.

With John Asbury and Joan Gralla

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