Riverhead, Calverton and East Moriches are among the communities that New York State is targeting to boost vaccination rates as Long Island’s positive COVID-19 cases have been steadily rising once more while the Delta variant of the virus spreads.
The communities among 117 zip codes statewide—21 of which are on Long Island—that have above-average new positive COVID-19 cases per capita and below-average vaccination rates. The three communities each have a vaccination rate of about 50%.
“What we’re looking at is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “A pandemic of the population that still refuse to get the vaccine.”
The Long Island region, which includes Nassau and Suffolk counties, has the second-highest COVID-19 positivity rate of all regions in the state on a seven-day average at 2.27 percent as of July 26, according to the latest state health data.
To help, the governor announced $15 million in funding statewide to try boosting vaccination rates in these areas. The money will go toward local organizations that will initiate conversations with people who are still unvaccinated in the community.