More than 600 new COVID cases reported on North Shore over the last week

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More than 600 new coronavirus cases were reported throughout the North Shore over the past week, according to county health department figures. (Chart by Robert Pelaez)

Nearly 600 people across the North Shore of Nassau County had tested positive for the coronavirus in one week as of Wednesday, according to the county Department of Health.

A total of 59,700 Nassau County residents had tested positive for the virus as of Wednesday, and 2,251 had died since the pandemic began in mid-March. More than 230 Nassau residents remained hospitalized due to the virus, with 39 in intensive care units and 25 on ventilators, according to county figures.

Of those totals, 7,714 people on the North Shore as of Wednesday had tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began. The Great Neck peninsula’s seven-day positivity rate of 4.39 percent trailed only Massapequa Park’s 6.14 percent rate in the county.

Village of Great Neck Mayor Pedram Bral said he has “been receiving heat from both sides of the spectrum” in regard to mask-wearing and other state mandates, but spoke about the numbers in a Facebook post last week.

“Facts are the numbers are going up,” Bral said. “You can agree or disagree but this will not change the fact that the state will order our businesses and schools to shut down. So I urge you again to please act accordingly and avoid attending large gatherings for the sake of our kids and our businesses.”

Throughout the peninsula, more than 1,700 people had tested positive for the virus since the beginning of the pandemic, according to county figures as of Wednesday. This figure is an increase of 114 total cases from last week’s 1,631 cases.

The peninsula was deemed a “yellow zone” for the coronavirus by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week, which means new restrictions have been placed on schools, indoor and outdoor dining, and gatherings.

According to Cuomo, yellow zone restrictions allow for nonresidential indoor or outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people and residential gatherings of up to 10 people.  Places of worship are capped at half capacity and restaurants are required to limit tables to no more than four people. Schools are permitted to remain open but are required to test 20 percent of in-school students and staff members.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, in a news conference last month, said she was worried about the recent increase of coronavirus cases in the Port Washington area. The area’s 716 cases account for 10 percent of the North Shore’s positive tests. 

Members of the Port Washington community spoke out via Zoom last week in a forum organized by the Port Washington school district to implore the community to stay home during the Thanksgiving holidays and follow health advisories in order to prevent the area from developing clusters of COVID-19 cases.

“The objective of our panel discussion is to hone in on the significance and urgency of uniting as a community from all facets of life at the spread of COVID-19, understanding the importance of adhering to local and regional health guidance and taking necessary precautions to ensure that schools remain open,” School Superintendent Michael Hynes said at the forum. 

Nora Johnson, president of the Port Washington Board of Education, thanked the families in the area who were “following the rules.” 

“We’ve just heard and we’ve all heard before that the numbers are going up in Port Washington as they are everywhere,” Johnson said. “But the truth is that our numbers seem to be higher than some of our other neighboring districts in Nassau County. There’s different theories for that, including that we’re doing more testing. But regardless of the why, as a community, we have to be even more vigilant about protecting our loved ones from COVID.”

Local faith leaders were also at the forum to encourage community members to stay home over the holiday and have patience as the pandemic ran its course. 

Rabbi Irwin Zeplowitz of the Community Synagogue at Sands Point encouraged patience in his remarks.

“None of us have been in this situation before, and we’re all feeling our way forward,” Zeplowitz said. “So with a little bit of glue, a little bit of patience and a little bit of thinking about people trying to do their best, rather than to think about the worst, I think that in some ways that can lower the temperature and create a sense of calm, as we move forward.” 

North Hempstead Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte said that the local uptick would require the community to “be creative and come up with other ways to connect with the people we love.”

“Please remember that in order to have all our generations around the table together next year,” Dalimonte said. “We need to stop the spread for better days ahead.”

The New Hyde Park area accounted for 1,627 of the North Shore’s cases, with North New Hyde Park having the second-most confirmed positives, 592, out of any analyzed area.  The villages of Floral Park, with 480 cases, and New Hyde Park, with 419 cases, were also among the top seven villages or unincorporated town areas in terms of positive tests, according to Health Department statistics.

Municipalities and unincorporated areas that stretch into more than one North Shore area such as Flower Hill, Herricks, Albertson, Garden City Park, Searingtown and North Hills were counted separately and accounted for 1,035 cases, according to county statistics.

The villages of Mineola, with 641 cases, and Garden City, with 570 cases, accounted for 1,211 of the 1,507 cases in the area that also takes in the Willistons.

Manhasset, which has consistently remained comparatively low since the beginning of the pandemic, had 435 cases, with around half coming from town-governed areas as of Wednesday.

The Village of Roslyn’s 172 cases may not seem high compared with other North Shore areas, but the cases per 1,000 residents, 60.31, is one of the highest rates in Nassau County, according to Health Department figures.  Despite this, the Village of Roslyn was the lone village throughout the analyzed areas that did not see an increase in cases over the one-week period.

Throughout New York, more than 660,000 people had tested positive for the coronavirus as of Wednesday, according to state figures. Of that total, more than 34,200 people had died. In New York City, 319,000 people had contracted the virus, and 24,287 had died. 

 

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