Mount Sinai South Nassau vaxmobile, which gives COVID-19 tests and vaccinations,...

Mount Sinai South Nassau vaxmobile, which gives COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, at Five Towns Community Center in Lawrence on Jan. 2. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Since late last week, Long Island has had New York’s highest rate of COVID-19 positivity, although the rate is in steady decline, as it is statewide, according to figures released by Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office.

Long Island’s seven-day average of tests as of Thursday detected COVID-19 infections in 7.92% of results, compared with 7.35% in the Capital Region, the second-highest rate, and 5.41% statewide.

Wednesday's rate was 8.17% on the Island, 7.40% in Western New York, the second-highest, and 5.49% statewide.

Tuesday’s rate was 8.30% on the Island and 5.65% statewide.

Monday’s was 8.94% on the Island and 5.95% statewide.

Long Island became the state's region with the highest rate, 9.07%, on June 4, when it overtook Western New York, which had the state’s highest rate the previous day.

Over the last month, the number of Long Island patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 or its complications has remained relatively steady, roughly between 150 and 250, according to a review of news releases from Hochul’s office. The same period has seen an average of several deaths of Long Islanders a day, according to the releases.

These two indicators are a marked contrast with the worst days of the pandemic, circa spring 2020 — before the public availability of vaccines — when hundreds of people a day were dying.

Still, both Nassau and Suffolk remain at "high," the top level on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s three-step, color-coded Community Level system.

When in a community with that designation, face masks are advised when indoors.

By contrast, the community levels for each of New York City’s five boroughs is "medium" — a status in which those at high risk for severe illness are advised to talk to a medical clinician about whether to wear a mask and take other precautions.

On Thursday, the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, declared via Twitter the latest peak to be over.

Asked Friday about Nassau County’s COVID-19 situation, Christopher Boyle, a spokesman for County Executive Bruce Blakeman, released this statement from Blakeman: “Nassau County is open for business and back to normal.

"We want to welcome everybody back to our museums, concerts, shopping, restaurants and more. While NYS is closing the vaccination site at Old Westbury I am directing resources to mental health, substance abuse and economic recovery so that all those hurt by COVID have the help they need.”

Marykate Guilfoyle, a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, sent a comment from the county’s health commissioner, Dr. Gregson Pigott: "The COVID-19 boosters have been very effective at keeping people from becoming severely ill and even as numbers continue to decline, we are still encouraging all Suffolk County residents to get vaccinated to keep themselves and their loved ones safe."

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