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Suffolk’s COVID-19 test positivity rate shot up to 12.8% yesterday — 1,650 new confirmed cases out of 12,909 tests reported.

The number of new cases is the highest reported since the onset of the pandemic, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said today.

“To put it simply, today’s COVID-19 numbers are shocking,” Bellone said.

Suffolk’s seven-day average positivity rate rose to 8.4% — a more than 17% increase in the rate since Christmas Day, when it was 7.2% and a 184% increase since Dec. 1.

There were 84 new hospital admissions in 24 hours, bringing the total number of COVID hospitalizations in Suffolk to 700. There were 12 new COVID fatalities in Suffolk.

“We are the only ones who can change these numbers,” Bellone said.

“We have seen this virus spread during the holiday season through small gatherings in homes where people are more likely to let their guard down,” he said.

Health officials are urging people to avoid New Year’s Eve celebrations with people who are not members of their household.

There were 31 new COVID cases reported among Riverhead Town residents yesterday, bringing the town’s total number of confirmed cases to 1,708.

The Riverhead focus zone, which had a 9.1% positivity rate (seven-day average) on Sunday rose to a 9.7% positivity rate on Monday, according to New York State data reported today. The Hampton Bays focus zone rose from 8.6% on Sunday (seven-day average) to 9.9% on Monday. The state reports only the seven-day average positivity rate for the focus zones and does not report the daily rate, positive case number or tests administered.
(The Riverhead zone includes most of the Riverhead hamlet in the Town of Riverhead and parts of the hamlets of Flanders, Riverside and Northampton in the Town of Southampton.)

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.