A month ago yesterday, the number of people hospitalized in Suffolk County with COVID-19 was at a staggering 1,658, prompting the rapid-fire build up of a hospital extension at Stony Brook.
Yesterday, after further declines in hospitalizations throughout the county, the number of people hospitalized with a virus that has disrupted life across the county and the planet, was 590, which represents a 64 percent decline from the peak a month earlier.
Over the weekend, the total number of residents hospitalized fell by 113, while the number of people in the Intensive Care Units declined by 36, bringing the total number in the ICU to 222.
The number of people discharged from the hospital continued to fall, with 70 leaving discharged on Saturday and 83 leaving the hospitals on Sunday.
Capacity for hospital beds and ICU beds both were around the targeted 70 percent, which means that Suffolk County has met four out of the seven criteria for a phased economic reopening. This is better than a week ago, when the county only met two.
The three criteria the county still hasn’t met include hiring an additional 400 to 450 contact tracers, a reduction in hospital deaths and a reduction to 30 or below in the number of new hospitalizations.
County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said on his daily conference call with reporters that the last of those, the number of new hospitalizations, is the one he’s most concerned about meeting to reopen the economy.
Over the last 24 hours, the number of people who have tested positive for the virus, excluding the antibody testing, was 209, bringing the number who have tested positive through non-antibody screening to 36,911.
Excluding the antibody test, which screens for the presence of immune cells residents presumably formed to fight off a virus they may not know they had, positive tests in the last day represent just over 10 percent of the total testing.
“That is significantly lower than we’ve seen in the past,” Bellone said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today several upstate regions will be able to begin opening their economies after May 15, when the New York Pause executive order is set to end. Each county is in charge of establishing its own phases for reopening when the time comes.
The virus continues to take the lives of Suffolk County residents, with an additional 22 people losing their battle over the last day, bringing the total to 1,639.
A new dashboard is available to check what criteria Suffolk has made toward its reopening initiatives.
On Wednesday, Bellone will conduct a second Facebook live town hall for veterans. This time, he join Suffolk County Legislator Susan Berland (D-Dix Hills) and former National Football League player and current Jets analyst Marty Lyons.