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New York's COVID-19 case rate among highest in U.S., LI's rate number 2 in state, data show

The mobile unit will distribute the vaccine to

The mobile unit will distribute the vaccine to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions throughout the Town of Hempstead. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa Loarca

New York State's coronavirus case rate is now among the highest in the United States, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eclipsed only by a handful of other states such as Michigan and New Jersey.

And Long Island has one of New York's highest infection rates statewide.

A seven-day average shows the state has had 245 cases per 100,000 outside of New York City, which has had 342 per 100,000. The rate in Michigan is 379 per 100,000 and 352 per 100,000 in New Jersey, CDC data show. The average nationwide is 132 per 100,000

In June, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo boasted that "we went from worst to first."

According to statistics Cuomo's office released Wednesday, the Long Island region continues to have one of the state’s highest infection rates. The seven-day average as of Tuesday is 4.38%, second only to the mid-Hudson region, which has 4.75%, the release said. The lowest rate is the Southern Tier, with 0.76%. New York City has 4.26%.

In an effort to combat a pandemic that's killed more than 50,000 in New York, the state, localities and others continue to vaccinate more people, a number that has climbed with each day.

On Wednesday, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — one of the three available in the United States — was found to be highly effective on children as young as 12.

Of the three vaccines, 192,853 doses were administered across New York State over the most recent 24 hour period, according to a news release from Cuomo’s office, which said about 30% of New Yorkers have now gotten at least one dose, and about 18% are fully vaccinated.

Dr. Jay Varma, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's senior adviser for the pandemic, suggested that with sufficient vaccination, New York City could be back to normal soon.

"There is a very real possibility that you know, we can be completely out of this you know, within another six to eight weeks of very aggressive vaccination," he said at a news conference Wednesday.

There are 734,142 people on Long Island with at least one dose, 21,504 in the previous 24 hours, the news release said, adding that there were 408,142 with a completed vaccine series, and 13,115 over the previous 24 hours.

The finding with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine came in a clinical trial concluding high effectiveness — no infections among those who got the shots, with even stronger antibody responses in kids than adults.

Mount Sinai South Nassau and the Town of Hempstead on Wednesday launched a mobile vaccination unit to deliver shots to eligible residents in the Town of Hempstead. The mobile unit aims to eliminate barriers to vaccination, including transportation, mobility, language or health, and bring one-dose vaccines directly to some hard-hit communities.

Also Wednesday, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced she would ask a regional coalition of business and nonprofit representatives to give advice for how to dole out $397 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion economic federal stimulus legislation passed earlier in March. The coalition, formed in March 2020, will make recommendations to Curran, according to Curran spokeswoman Justine DiGiglio.

Cuomo's office issued several news releases Wednesday regarding the state's coronavirus progress, including one noting the opening of 25 new rapid testing sites Thursday. Several of these sites will open nearby or at arenas, stadiums, and arts venues, which may admit fans starting Thursday if all attendees present proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test or immunization. Of the 25, 11 are on Long Island.

The Island sites are: CVS Pharmacy, 373 Willis Ave., Roslyn Heights; CVS Pharmacy, 640 Franklin Ave, Valley Stream; CVS Pharmacy 480 Montauk Highway, Bay Shore; Quest Diagnostics, 212 Station Plaza North, Mineola; Quest Diagnostics, 265 Jericho Turnpike, Floral Park; Quest Diagnostics, 165 North Village Ave. Rockville Centre; Quest Diagnostics, 222 Rockaway Turnpike, Cedarhurst; Quest Diagnostics, 534 Montauk Highway, Center Moriches; Quest Diagnostics, 889 Harrison Ave., Riverhead; Quest Diagnostics, 500 West Main St. Suite 202, Babylon; and Rapid Reliable Testing, Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale.

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