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Suffolk County's Health Commissioner Is Concerned About COVID During The Holidays

Coronavirus Testing
Ted S. Warren
At least 10 people with Coronavirus have been linked to an early voting site at the Stony Brook Southampton college campus.

New York recorded nearly 3,000 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, the highest single-day total of new cases since early May. Governor Andrew Cuomo says the rise in cases in the state is slower than in other states, including Connecticut and New Jersey. But he discourages nonessential travel to neighboring states with high infection rates. 

Suffolk County Health Commissioner Dr. Gregson Pigott told WSHU's The Full Story that he’s on the lookout for super spreader events.

“You’re little backyard parties that you had a lot of people — It’s great if you don’t get any cases out of it. But unfortunately if you have one person who is mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic, and you have these events in from the cold and you are using the indoor environment a lot, you are going to get cases. And a lot of people can get infected even if you have just one person who is infected,” he said.

Long Island’s COVID-19 infection rate reached 2% this week, the highest it’s been since June. Cuomo has said Long Island would be shut down again for two weeks if the region exceeds 4%, under the state’s micro-cluster strategy.

Pigott is also worried about the holidays. Health officials caution that large gatherings have caused the spread of the virus, especially as they move indoors with winter weather approaching.

“It’s one thing if your immediate family, your household, is involved and you are just having dinner with your family," Pigott said. "But you are bringing in family that you haven’t seen in a while or friends. You just don’t know if anybody has the virus.”

This week, at least 10 people with positive cases have been linked to an early voting site at the Stony Brook Southampton college campus.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.