Coronavirus News: Nassau County awaits COVID vaccine as cases rise to highest levels in months

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Wednesday, December 9, 2020
As COVID cases rise, Nassau County awaits vaccine
Stacey Sager reports anxiety is setting in as Nassau County awaits the COVID vaccine.

LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- Nassau County will soon receive 26,500 doses of the COVID vaccine which is the first batch expected to be approved by the FDA Thursday.

But where will it go? Health officials are urging patience because there will certainly not be enough for everyone to start.

"We're almost there, we're just going to need a little more time," said Nassau County Health Commissioner Dr. Larry Eisenstein. "And, even though the allotment at first is going to be small, by the end of next week, we could have a full second product."

They say the COVID positivity rate somewhat stabilized and is now at 5% in Nassau County for the 7-day average. But hospitalizations across Long Island continue to rise.

Nassau County now has 365 COVID patients hospitalized, which is 22 more than the previous day.

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"For perspective, at our peak, we were at 2,600," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said. "We are now at 365, but that number is going up."

And COVID testing will go up as well. In particular, the county is urging schools within yellow zones to be prepared to contract providers or do their own COVID testing.

"We're also working with them to help them get a license directly from the state department of health, so that they can become testers themselves," Curran said. "They have the school nurses, they have the medical directors, it makes a lot of sense."

And the county would also provide free testing kits.

Now residents are left to vacillate between hope for the vaccine and anxiety about the growing number of cases.

"While we have that hope and that light at the end of the tunnel, we have the anxiety at the same time as the number's going up," Curran said.

Text covid19NC to 888-777 if you want to receive updates to your phone on eligibility for the vaccine or look online to determine if you live in a yellow, orange or red zone.

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