MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) COVID-19 cases are rising around the Tri-State Area, including on Long Island. 

Suffolk County reported more than 1,100 new cases on Tuesday. Back in the beginning of November, only 66 cases were reported, County Executive Steve Bellone said.

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Nassau County has a test positivity rate of 5.8%. County Executive Laura Curran said that is the highest number in months.

There’s also now community spread, with the disease infecting people among all age groups.


As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, there is concern on the streets.

“I’m 24. I want to get my life back. You have to listen to the rules. A lot of people are not listening and it’s ridiculous,” Huntington resident Arnell Stantil said.

Stantil is aware that Suffolk’s positivity rate is now surging above 6% each day.

“I have an 88-year-old mother. I worry about her,” Huntington’s Diane Hamilton said, “I have a 6-month-old granddaughter. I worried about her, too.”

“Nobody wants to get sick. Nobody wants to get anybody else sick. People should follow the rules,” homeowner Dana Hamilton added.

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Stony Brook University scientists say their new study confirms airborne saliva particles are transmitting the virus, adding small droplets can remain suspended in the air long after sneezing, coughing, and even exhaling.

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Health officials say it’s all about masks, social distancing and testing.

“We are looking at the numbers going up. We’re hoping our kids can stay in school safely as long as possible,” Cold Spring Harbor parent Heather Young said.

“We are focused on keeping our schools open. That is absolutely critical,” Bellone said.

“We are doing everything we can to keep our schools open,” Curran said.

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Testing in schools has been ramped up for districts in yellow zones, as Long Island waits for its first batch of vaccine.

“We are in this weird in-between phase right now while we wait for vaccine to come, while we have that hope and that light at the end of the tunnel, we have the anxiety at the same time as numbers are going up.”

The initial 26,000 doses that are coming will be earmarked for nursing homes and high-risk health care workers. In the coming days, protocols will be announced for eligibility availability and distribution.

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