Gov. Kathy Hochul continues to urge New Yorkers to get...

Gov. Kathy Hochul continues to urge New Yorkers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Shown is a 14-year-old girl receiving a COVID-19 inoculation at Freeport High School on July 15. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Long Island continued a slow, uneven decline in the number of new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, state figures showed Saturday.

Long Island had a total of 746 new cases reported — 295 in Nassau and 451 in Suffolk — on Friday, according to the state figures.

The Island had registered 714 cases the previous day.

Long Island logged an average of 808 new daily COVID-19 cases in August and September.

In July, the Island had several days in which cases exceeded 1,000. That represented a huge increase from June, when the number of new daily cases was well below 100.

Experts attribute the summer surge in large part to the spread of the extra-contagious delta variant along with resistance on the part of some people to getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Some people also let their guard down at summer get-togethers and vacations, not practicing social distancing, masking and other virus precautions, they said.

Statewide, the number of coronavirus cases had skyrocketed to as many as 6,000-plus daily cases in September, when more than 99% of positive test result samples that the state analyzed were of the delta variant.

On Friday, the state registered 4,701 new cases, the state figures show.

A total of 22 people died in the state Friday of virus-related illness, including two in Suffolk, the state said.

Nationally, the U.S. virus death toll eclipsed 700,000 on Friday, exceeding the number of deaths in the 1918 flu pandemic.

Gov. Kathy Hochul continued to urge people to get vaccinated.

"We're working to protect New Yorkers from the continued spread of COVID-19, and the vaccine is the central tool in that ongoing effort," Hochul said in a statement. "New York State is taking action to keep our children, parents and families safe from this terrible virus, but there's more we have to do."

Across the state, the number of people hospitalized increased by eight to 2,177. Those in ICUs increased by five to 525, the figures showed.

Long Island saw its seven-day average for new cases drop to 2.99%, down from 3.18% on Wednesday and 3.09% on Thursday, the figures said.

Long Island saw 5,946 people receive their first shot Friday, for a total of 1.877 million. Meanwhile, a total of 5,733 people completed their vaccine series, for a total of 1.66 million.

A total of 71.4% of New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose, and 63.8% have completed the vaccine series, according to state figures from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Getting New Yorkers vaccinated is vital to rebuilding our economy and fostering a healthier future for all of us, so I urge everyone who hasn't taken the shot yet to do so immediately," Hochul said.

With AP

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