RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork)COVID-19 cases are on the rise on Long Island, where New York State is closely monitoring the uptick.

School districts are warning residents to be ready for a possible shutdown.

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There is a war on COVID-19 on the East End, where Riverhead and Hampton Bays are near micro-cluster designation.

“We’ve been talking about the second wave for a long time, and certainly, this is exactly what we feared,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.


While Long Island hovers around 3.26%, Riverhead has surged to 5.6% and Hampton Bays to 6.5%.

Outreach is underway across communities, where PPE handouts come with crucial reminders, say those on the front line.

“Education, so we are constantly talking about it and setting the example,” said Sister Margaret, of St. John’s Riverhead.

Local police officers have joined in the campaign to spread the word.

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“Now more than ever, we need testing. The cluster identification is a very important component of tracing and surveilling COVID,” Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said.

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A pilot program is now underway at Riverhead High and Hampton Bays Middle School — testing for staff and students with results in 15 minutes.

“It’s an all-hands-on-deck effort to test as many people in the community to bring the rate low,” said Christine Tona, acting superintendent of Riverhead schools.

Both Hampton Bays and Riverhead are on the threshold of the Yellow Zone. School districts can remain open if in-school testing, over a two-week period, is lower than the community rate.

Suffolk’s health department believes this testing will pinpoint trouble zones that can be targeted and brought under control.

Increased testing and ramped up enforcement will continue throughout the holidays.

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