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Coronavirus Latest: White House Warns Conn., N.Y. Privately COVID-19 Risk At 'Historic High'

J.D. Allen/WSHU News
Dr. Deborah Birx is the White House's coronavirus response coordinator.

Here's the latest on the coronavirus outbreak in the region:

The White House Coronavirus Task Force notified Governor Ned Lamont and Governor Andrew Cuomo in private last week that COVID-19 risk in the U.S. was at a “historic high”, and the federal government considered Connecticut and New York to be in the “red zone” due to their high case totals.

The federal coronavirus task force said Connecticut was in the "orange zone" and New York was in the "green zone" due to their rates of new COVID-19 positive test rates, according to documents that were dated Nov. 29, 2020, and obtained by the Center of Public Integrity.

The 7-day COVID-19 positive test rate in Connecticut is 6.8%, according to data provided by the state. UConn researchers at the Center for Quantitative Medicine predict Connecticut will reach 200,000 cases by the New Year due to holiday gatherings.

On Long Island, the 7-day positive test rate increased to 5.67%. The rest of New York is at 5.02%. 

Superintendents across Nassau County say schools have been unable to meet the requirements in New York to test 20% of in-person students and staff at least once a week, because several communities are under yellow zone restrictions.

Nassau lawmakers now want to allow school districts to operate under the county’s license for testing, or districts could be forced to pay a private company at least $2,000 per day to conduct testing. Officials said that would create an additional financial burden for cash-strapped schools.