Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and other local officials launched the county’s “Take Your Shot” campaign on Tuesday in Brentwood. Residents were asked to receive the coronavirus vaccine and encourage others to #TakeYourShot against COVID-19 as positive cases and deaths are on the rise.
A second wave of the virus has hit Long Island, Bellone said. The surge has resulted in hospitalizations and deaths, according to statistics Bellone provided at his news conference.
November began with 42 people hospitalized in Suffolk County. As of Tuesday, there are more than 550 people in hospitals, Bellone said.
In November, 35 Suffolk County residents died of COVID-19, Bellone said; more than the combined total of August, September and October. In December, more than 120 Suffolk residents died due to the coronavirus, according to Bellone.
The surge comes as Christmas and New Year are around the corner, Bellone noted.
“These are, of course, major celebrations with friends and family,” he said. “Contact tracing revealed that the spread of the coronavirus is happening “mostly” through small gatherings, Bellone said.
“During this holiday season, during this Christmas season, we have hope, and it is in the form of a vaccine that is now here, on the ground, and being administered to health care workers and nursing home residents,” he said.
The vaccine has already hit hospitals and nursing homes. Next, it is planned to go to first responders such as police and EMS. From there, it will go to the most vulnerable before it hits the general population, Bellone said.