ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. - Long Island is holding a title it's not very proud of — the region has New York's highest seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate. As of Monday, it is 9.84%, up from 9.32% the day prior.
"Now is the time if you haven't yet been boosted to get the booster shot, this is critically important because omicron is five times more contagious than delta," said Dr. Aaron Glatt, chair of the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai South Nassau.
Glatt assures Long Islanders that his hospital system has a solid plan in place, as hospitalizations are expected to rise in the coming weeks, especially with holiday travel.
"We are seeing more hospitalizations now and this is across the entire metropolitan area," Glatt said. "Preparing and preparing and preparing, we had multiple meetings over the weekend, we have meetings every day where we can discuss how we can best make sure all the residents of Nassau County are going to be as safe as possible."
Glatt said that right now his hospital has plenty of capacity but he couldn't give us specific numbers.
Across the street from the hospital in Rockville Centre, employees of Bonbino's Pizza don't want to take any chances. They got their booster shots on Monday from Mount Sinai South Nassau's Vaxmobile.
"I have my mom who is very elderly, I want to see her and if there's any chance I can give her the virus and something happens, it would be very upsetting," Bonbino's employee Theresa Caporale said.
"Back in January, I got COVID and I was in the hospital for 17 days," Bonbino's owner John Milano said. "So I know how important it is, the shot."
If you plan to be with family and friends for the holidays, health officials suggest you continue to follow all the same safety protocol — get vaccinated, get your booster, and wear your mask around others as much as possible.