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Record number of daily COVID-19 tests in New York, Cuomo says

"Everyone must continue to wash their hands, wear

"Everyone must continue to wash their hands, wear their masks, remain socially distant" to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Saturday. He is shown at the Clinton G. Martin Community Park Center in New Hyde Park on Aug. 24. Credit: Corey Sipkin

New York State reached a record number of daily COVID-19 tests, 110,444, on Friday even as the statewide positive rate remained under 1%, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Saturday.

Of those tests, .89 were positive, or an additional 986 cases, bringing New York's total to 449,038, according to state data. Suffolk County had 54 new positive cases and Nassau had 102, bringing Long Island's positive results to 1%, state data showed.

"When we first started this journey a few months ago, we only had the capacity to do a few hundred tests per day," Cuomo said in a news release. "Despite testing more than most other states, our infection rate remains below one percent. But this pandemic is not over."

State figures showed the positivity rate on Long Island was 1.3% on Tuesday, 1.1% on Wednesday, 0.9% on Thursday and up slightly to 1% on Friday.

Meanwhile, New York City had 492 positive test results with a 1.1% infection rate on Friday. The rate was 1% on Wednesday and 0.9% on Thursday.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the county remained stable, with hospital systems reporting 38 patients, including 18 in ICUs and five on ventilators.

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"Today, 102 Nassau residents tested positive for COVID-19 out of 8,330 — placing the percentage of residents testing positive at 1.2%," Curran said on Saturday. "Our positivity rate remains low because Nassau residents are doing the right thing — but it’s important that we keep acting responsibly."

There were two deaths Friday statewide from the coronavirus, one in Queens and another in Erie County, bringing the total to 25,425, state data shows. The number of lives taken by the virus has dropped dramatically since the early days of the pandemic, when the state saw nearly 800 deaths a day.

On Friday, the State Liquor Authority and State Police Task Force visited 1,434 establishments in New York City and Long Island and found six that were not complying with state requirements, the news release said.

There were five violations in Suffolk County and one in Brooklyn, the state said.

"We must protect our progress, and it's going to take all of us to keep up our hard work to do so," Cuomo said. "Everyone must continue to wash their hands, wear their masks, remain socially distant and above all, stay New York Tough."

The State Liquor Authority has issued charges from May 29 to Sept. 17 against 119 Long Island businesses that sell alcohol, suspending the liquor licenses of 11, according to a recent Newsday investigation. The investigation found some of the alleged violations included packed bars, a secret basement drinking and gambling room below a grocery store and gyms opening months before they were permitted to do so.

The Nassau County Fire Marshal's Office issued 23 court summonses for alleged offenses related to COVID-19, and the Suffolk County Police Department handed out seven, according to the investigation.

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