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State study: 1 in 6 L.I. residents infected by coronavirus

Governor Cuomo starts planning for regional reopening of the economy

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An estimated 16.7 percent of residents on Long Island, in Nassau and Suffolk counties, have been infected by the coronavirus. That translates to 1 in 6 people.

That's according to a random statewide survey of 3,000 people conducted by New York state health officials, Governor Cuomo said Thursday.

Nassau and Suffolk had the second-highest infection rate after New York City in the state, according to Cuomo. The five boroughs of the city had an infection rate of 21.2 percent, or about 1 in 5 people.

Statewide, the rate averaged 13.9 percent, or 1 in 7 people.

That figure, however, was heavily skewed by the downstate totals. Outside of New York City and its surrounding counties, the infection rate was 3.6 percent, or 1 in 28 people, Cuomo said.

The antibody tests were conducted in public, at places like supermarkets and box stores, he said.

The infection rate was disproportionately high among African-Americans and Latinos, for whom the infection rate averaged 23 percent.

Among Asians, it was 11.7 percent, and whites, 9 percent.

According to the study, some 2.7 million New Yorkers have been infected by Covid-19, which translates to a death rate of .5 percent.

The death rate, however, does not accurately portray the toll the pandemic has taken on New York, the governor said, noting that 15,500 people have died in hospitals and nursing homes to date. That figure is expected to rise when at-home deaths are accounted for.

Additionally, the governor said, the coronavirus may have been in the United States, and New York, longer than thought, according to a new Northeastern University study. That means people may have died of the disease as early as January, but it was unknown at the time those people had the coronavirus.

Conducting the study was critical to developing the state's plans to reopen the economy, the governor said. He spoke of a regional approach to reopening, based on the infection rate seen in different parts of the state.

"The facts should dictate the action," he said, speaking of the regional approach.

He noted, however, that reopening must be well-coordianted throughout the state to prevent any one region from being overwhelmed by people from other regions whose areas have not yet opened.