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One COVID-19 death on LI reported as virus spikes around U.S.

A couple wearing face coverings watches an Independence

A couple wearing face coverings watches an Independence Day parade along Main Street in Port Jefferson on Saturday. Credit: Randee Daddona

Long Island officials on Saturday reported only one COVID-19 death from the previous day as New York State continued to hold the line against the virus going into the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

But Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo urged people to remain steadfast as the virus spikes elsewhere in the country.

"New Yorkers bent the curve of this deadly virus by being smart and taking proper precautions throughout this pandemic, and that's reflected in yesterday's low hospitalizations and rate of positive tests," Cuomo said in a statement Saturday. 

In Nassau County, one person died from the virus, said County Executive Laura Curran.

“Nassau County is closely monitoring the coronavirus over the holiday weekend," Curran said.

For the fourth time in the past week, Suffolk registered no deaths from COVID-19, said County Executive Steve Bellone.

"This is the most important number," Bellone said. "I want to thank everyone in Suffolk County for the sacrifices they have made and the work that has been done here."

Cuomo noted that there were 11 COVID-19 deaths in the state Friday, a slight increase from the nine fatalities the day before, but a tremendous drop from the peak of nearly 800 deaths a day in early April.

A total of 844 people remained hospitalized statewide, a drop of 13 from the previous day. And the state saw 726 new cases from 62,403 people tested, a 1.16% rate of infection — a slight dip from the 1.38% the day before, according to state data released Saturday.

The infection level on Long Island was 1%, and in New York City it was 1.4%.

Still, Cuomo — aware that the summer holiday poses risks of a rise in infection and that other states continue to see record daily cases  — urged caution. Confirmed cases are climbing in 40 states, The Associated Press reported Saturday, and the United States set another record Friday with 52,300 newly reported infections, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

" … [O]ur actions today determine our numbers tomorrow, and as we move through this holiday weekend, I strongly urge everyone to closely follow state guidance on safe practices and local governments to enforce that guidance," Cuomo said. 

Nassau County saw 41 new cases, for a total of 41,988, and Suffolk County 47, bringing its total to 41,585, according to the state data.

New York City had 368 new cases, according to state figures. The city has a cumulative 213,561 cases since February, with 18,555 deaths confirmed by lab test to be coronavirus-connected, and an additional 4,604 deaths probably connected, according to the city health department.

"Being New York tough means being New York smart: Wear a mask, wash your hands and practice social distancing," Cuomo said.

In Suffolk, the number of deaths held steady at 1,983, Bellone said.

An additional 19,863 people, who had not had a prior diagnosis, have tested positive for antibodies, he said.

Hospitals saw their number of COVID-19 patients decrease by three to 70 people, Bellone said.

For the first time since March, the number of people in ICUs dipped below 20, to 17, a decrease of three from the day before. Five people were discharged from the hospital.

In Nassau, the number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations stood at 54, a decrease of six, Curran said.

One patient was recorded as being on a ventilator in the county’s hospital systems, she said.

Meanwhile, positive tests are back to below 1%, to 0.8%, "a positive sign that we are containing the virus,” Curran said.

With John Asbury and Matthew Chayes