Suffolk County reported 1,650 new cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours ending Wednesday, out of 12,909 tests, for a positivity rate of 12.8 percent.

“To put it simply, today’s COVID-19 numbers are shocking. Not only is this the highest number of new cases reported since the onset of the pandemic, but the double-digit positivity rate puts us right back to where we were in early May,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone Wednesday afternoon. ” On Dec. 1, we had a positivity rate of approximately 4 percent, today we are at 12.8 percent. In less than a month, the rate has tripled.”

The county also reported 700 people are currently hospitalized with the virus, with 97 of those patients in ICU. The county also reported 12 new fatalities from the virus on Wednesday, bringing the death toll here to 2,286.

By comparison, on Dec. 1, there were 266 Covid-19 patients in Suffolk hospitals, with 48 of them in ICU. Since Dec. 1, 230 fatalities from the virus have been reported in the county, about 10 percent of the total death toll here since the pandemic reached New York in March.

“We are the only ones who can change these numbers. 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. As we approach New Year’s Eve, I urge Suffolk County residents to limit gatherings and to do what we know works, wear face coverings and socially distance.”

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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