Currently in the rising action of the virus’ second wave, Suffolk County witnessed its highest positivity rate in a 24-hour period since May on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
“While we don’t put too much stock into any one day’s numbers, it is clear that we are moving in the wrong direction with new cases and hospitalizations continuing to rise at alarming rates,” Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone said. “Vigilance got us through the first wave, and it will get us through the second as well. Let’s continue to do all that we can to keep our communities safe, our businesses and schools open, and our hospitals with enough capacity to continue their lifesaving work.”
Considering the presence and access to a vaccine, Bellone encourages the community to remain focused on following the guidelines for the sake of overall public health.
“We have all worked incredibly hard over the last nine months, and because of the efforts of our residents countless lives have been saved,” he said. “With the vaccine here, now is not the time to take our eye off the ball.”
In an effort to encourage residents to receive the vaccine, the county has announced and launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #TakeYourShot. The announcement was made on Tuesday, Dec. 22, one week after the positivity rate spiked to 8.2 percent in the county, in which Bellone was joined by public health experts and community leaders to kick off a robust public awareness campaign for the sake of educating residents on the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
The county possesses a numerical goal of 850,000 signatures from Suffolk County residents promising to receive a COVID-19 vaccination when it is readily available to the given signee, hence the hashtag #TakeYourShot.
Suffolk County will mobilize resources from its health department, Suffolk County Police Department, Department of Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Services, the Office of Minority Affairs as well as Suffolk311 in order to engage directly with residents regarding the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.