MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Nassau County may be nearing a plateau in the coronavirus pandemic, but officials say “this is not the time to let our guard down.”

Early Monday afternoon, the county reported at least 15,616 positive cases and 381 deaths. There were 79 new hospitalizations and 197 discharges – meaning there were more people leaving the hospitals than coming in.

County Executive Laura Curran said those numbers could indicate a plateau.

“Just because we get to the plateau, or the apex, or the crest of the wave or whatever we’re calling it, it doesn’t mean you just snap your finger and life returns to normal,” she warned. “The ascent was difficult, the plateau was difficult, and the decent will be difficult, as well.”

Curran stressed the county still has the second-most cases in the state.

“We cannot let up now. I don’t want anyone to get a false sense of security that now things are starting to relax, but that is not the case. When you think about the plateau, that’s the high mark, that’s a crisis status for a period of time,” she said. “So we have to be serious, we have to continue with the social isolation, we have to continue supporting our health care workers and first responders, and we have to keep getting the masks, the gloves, the ventilators and the stuff we need.”

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She thanked residents for social distancing and said their efforts are helping to flatten the curve.

“Most people are heeding the call and doing the right thing,” she said. “Those that aren’t are rightfully being exposed, and hopefully that will shame them – I hate to use that word – into doing the right thing.”

Curran also thanked 10 FEMA EMTs who arrived Sunday to relieve first responders.

“Incredibly grateful for the help. We need it,” she said.

In one housekeeping note, she said sewer lines are getting more clogged than normal and reminded people to not flush rubber gloves down the drain.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

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