Limit gatherings as much as possible.
Those were the words from Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on Friday as he urged residents to be cautious as COVID-19 cases begin to spike at “alarming rates” in New York state, and specifically Suffolk County.
Bellone in a Zoom press conference said the county’s seven-day average for new COVID cases had hovered around 100 cases. On Nov. 13, 428 cases were reported. The county said 3.6 percent of those tested in Suffolk County in the last reported 24-hour period tested positive for COVID-19.
Bellone pointed to Halloween parties being a lead cause of the surge.
“We are seeing the effects of indoor parties,” he said.
This bump in cases, seen throughout the state, led to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to impose new COVID restrictions for the first time since spring.
Starting last Friday, a curfew was imposed on bars, restaurants and gyms. Gym activities and indoor dining will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
For restaurants and bars, take out and delivery will be an option. However, there will be no alcohol to-go as there were during the original shutdown.
To limit “superspreader events,” the governor also put a halt on large family gatherings.
Under his new measures, household parties of more than 10 people won’t be allowed ahead of the upcoming holidays.
“Two weeks away from Thanksgiving, we need to take extra precautions this year,” said Bellone last Friday. “We’ve gone too far to go back now.”
Bellone added that while he doesn’t want to see more restrictions in the future, “they will be inevitable” if the virus’ spread continues.
“We are entering a dangerous period right now for this virus,” he said. “We’ve long talked about the possibility of a second wave in the fall and that very much feels like where we are now with these cases surging.”