Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo provides a coronavirus update at the State...

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo provides a coronavirus update at the State Capitol in Albany on Friday. Credit: Office of the Governor / Mike Groll

Long Island continued to have the state’s highest percentage of residents testing positive for the coronavirus, as another 140 people statewide died of the disease, according to data released Saturday by the office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Long Island’s 7-day positivity rate was 6.41% as of Friday, compared with 5.27% statewide.

In a continuation of a weekslong trend, more Suffolk than Nassau residents died of COVID-19 on Friday: 11 in Suffolk and three in Nassau. COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide fell again, to 8,176, down from 8,357 on Thursday.

The percentage of New Yorkers who tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday rose slightly, to 4.75%, from 4.65% on Thursday. But the state’s and the Island’s 7-day average continued to gradually decline.

Meanwhile, Cuomo spokesman Jack Sterne said, with meteorologists predicting heavy snow Monday and Tuesday, the state is "monitoring the weather in real time" to determine whether to close vaccination sites at Stony Brook University and Jones Beach. The Jones Beach site was closed Friday and Saturday because of the cold and wind.

Long Islanders report continuing frustration with trying to make — and cancel — vaccination appointments.

Gary Ostrager of Westbury said he had tried in vain to repeatedly cancel appointments he made for his wife and him at state-operated sites in March and April after he was able to get February slots.

"Especially with those variants out there, we want to get vaccinated as soon as possible," Ostrager said, referring to coronavirus variants believed to be more contagious.

Yet he hasn't been able to get through on the state vaccination hotline, despite multiple attempts.

"I am trying to cancel these appointments so someone else can have the spot," he said. "But trying to do so is brutal."

Nassau Executive Curran warned in a statement Saturday that "with new strains seeping into our county, let’s stay vigilant. We all know the vaccine is key to returning to normal and I will continue to push for a greater supply."

Suffolk officials are asking the state to increase the allocation of coronavirus vaccines it receives for county-operated vaccination sites, amid data showing that Nassau's county-run sites are receiving more doses.

"We’ve definitely been hit harder here in terms of deaths, hospitalizations and overall cases," and Suffolk has a larger population, said Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst), minority leader in the County Legislature. "Everything leads toward us being able to get more of the vaccine."

For the week of Jan. 18, Suffolk received 1,200 doses for county-operated sites, and Nassau got 2,800, according to information supplied by the state, said Lisa Black, Suffolk’s chief deputy county executive.

Sterne said that, overall, allocations are higher to Suffolk, because of the county’s larger population. For the week of Feb. 1, all vaccination providers in Suffolk, including pharmacies and hospitals but excluding the state-operated site at Stony Brook University, will receive 17,525 doses, compared with 15,900 for Nassau, excluding the state site at Jones Beach, he said.

"The number of doses going to a county health department is based on the county’s population of eligible essential workers, which is the group those health departments are supposed to vaccinate," he said in an email. Pharmacies should focus on those 65 and older, state officials said.

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Black said the county asked unions, trade associations and businesses to prioritize workers who most urgently need a vaccine, so, at the two county sites, "overwhelmingly we are doing seniors, but it’s seniors not because of age, but seniors because of occupation."

For the week of Feb. 1, the Suffolk Health Department will receive 3,200 doses, and Nassau will get 3,300, a state official said.

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