COVID-19 News and Information
LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- Health officials announced a spike in coronavirus cases on Long Island.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran unveiled a hot spot map of the impacted area during her press conference Wednesday.
The map is broken down by three colors: Red is the cluster center. Orange is the surrounding area -- a ring around the center. Yellow is a ring around the orange ring -- the precautionary area.
-Houses of worship - 25% capacity, 10 people maximum
-Mass gatherings prohibited
-Nonessential businesses closed
-Takeout dining only
-Houses of worship - 33% capacity, 25 people maximum
-Mass gatherings - 10 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
-Businesses - Closing high risk nonessential business such as gyms and personal care
-Outdoor dining only with 4 person max per table
- Schools: remote learning only
-Houses of worship -50% capacity
-Mass gatherings - 25 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
-Indoor and outdoor dining
-Schools - Mandatory weekly testing of students/teachers/staff for in-person classes. Testing will start next week.
Curran indicated that Nassau County has no red zone, only orange and yellow.
Areas that are found in the orange area include Lawrence and Inwood, which per state guidelines will force schools to be remote-only.
Ann Pedersen, the Superintendent of the Lawrence School District, said students, faculty and staff have been following all the safety guidelines.
"However, we have to look at a bigger picture here and we have to follow the mandates of the state," she said.
The village of Lawrence has the highest COVID-19 rate in the county.
"We cannot go backwards," said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
New York State has mandated new rules for areas of Inwood, Lawrence and Cedarhurst because they have the highest infection rates in Nassau County.
Beginning Friday, schools in part of Lawrence and Inwood will have to go completely remote for at least 14 days.
In yellow zone areas, like primarily Cedarhurst, schools can remain open but will have mandatory testing of faculty, staff and students.
"We're waiting on the state to find out what percentage of students have to be tested per week," Nassau County Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein said.
Gyms and salons in Lawrence and parts of Inwood will also have to close Friday for at least two weeks. Restaurants in certain areas will no longer be allowed to have indoor dining.
"It's not a punishment. It's extra precautions to keep people healthy," Eisenstein said.
The Town of Hempstead distributed PPE kits Wednesday to more than 70 business owners in Cedarhurst.
The new rules will also put stricter limits on worship services and gatherings.
County officials wouldn't say if they will issue fines for violations.
"Our police officers are out there doing their patrol duties," Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said. "If they see any large gatherings, they will go out and enforce the rules."
Officials say they are "closely monitoring areas of concern." Testing will be implemented soon in those areas.
124 people tested positive out of 7,817 in Nassau County, according to the state. The positivity rate is at 1.6%, with 64 hospitalizations and five on ventilators.
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