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Cuomo: Six million COVID-19 tests completed, more safety protocol violators

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday said the

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday said the state has reached a milestone with six million COVID-19 tests completed.   Credit: Getty Images / Jeenah Moon

Over six million diagnostic tests for COVID-19 have been completed in New York State, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Sunday as he lamented that some establishments — including two in Suffolk County — continued to flout safety protocols.

The milestone comes as the state hit another important mark Saturday — the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 is 556, the lowest since March 17, the governor said.

The statewide percentage of people testing positive was 0.9%. That’s 531 out of 58,961 tests conducted Saturday, Cuomo said.

“It's all very good news," Cuomo said. "The numbers are just about where we want them to be ... but we have to stay diligent. ... When the plan is working, it doesn't mean you deviate from the plan."

He said the city is facing threats from a surge in cases across the country and a lack of compliance from people who are not social distancing or wearing masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Cuomo said the task force charged with enforcing pandemic-related rules such as social distancing and mask-wearing inspected 1,070 establishments in New York City and Long Island. Two sites in Suffolk County were included in the 36 found not in compliance with state requirements. A spreadsheet on the New York State Liquor Authority website that tracks violations had not been updated on Sunday to include the locations of the establishments cited on Saturday.

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The majority of establishments cited Saturday were in Queens and Manhattan.

Cuomo pointed to continued virus spread in the United States as well as in Israel, which is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 after opening schools.

"If you look at the facts, you look at the data, you look at history, you look at the other experiences, it all says the same thing: We have to be careful," he said.

There were three new COVID-19-related deaths recorded Saturday, bringing the state’s grim total to 25,170, he said. None of the fatalities were in Nassau or Suffolk counties.

Nassau had 51 new COVID-19 cases and Suffolk logged 45, according to state figures.

"Nassau County has not seen a COVID related fatality in the last six days — a positive sign that we have the virus on the run and must do all we can to keep it that way," said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran in a statement.

Curran said there are currently 38 COVID-19-positive residents in hospital systems across Nassau County. There are 31 people hospitalized in Suffolk County with COVID-19.

Cuomo said the state is poised to start reviewing reopening plans from school districts, but there needs to be time for parents to ask questions.

“Parents are not going to take this lightly and they shouldn’t take it lightly,” he said. “It’s about parents being comfortable. Just because a school district says we are open doesn’t mean students are going to go. ... And we will accomplish nothing if we open schools but a significant number of parents keep their children home."

 — Jesse Coburn

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