Hospitalizations Drop, Coram Testing Site Opening Friday

Hospitalizations Drop, Coram Testing Site Opening Friday

Cars line up at the Stony Brook coronavirus testing site. Photo by Kyle Barr

The closely watched number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 fell below 1,400 for the first time in weeks, as 10 percent of the people in the hospital were discharged in the last day.

The net decline in hospitalizations was 57 people, bringing the total to 1,377.

“That’s another positive milestone we are hitting,” County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said on his daily conference call with reporters.

The number of people in the Intensive Care Unit also declined by two people, falling below 500.

“This is a continuation of positive signs,” but the county has “a long way to go to beat this thing,” Bellone said.

The number of people who have left the hospital in the last day increased to 141.

“We want to see that number as high as possible,” Bellone said, as he wished those who had returned to their homes a continued recovery.

Meanwhile, the county is adding another hotspot testing site and is planning to open a facility in Coram at the Elsie Owens Health Center this Friday.

The number of people who have tested positive for the virus continues to rise, with 844 people testing positive in the last day, bringing the total positive tests to 29,588.

According to figures on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) web site from the State Department of Health, the number of Suffolk County residents who died in the last 24 hours from complications related to COVID-19 rose by 38 to 926.

The deaths are “beyond anything we could have imagined at the starts of this across Long Island,” Bellone said.

With many groups questioning when the general landscape will open up again, Cuomo announced a new effort to test and trace people to determine who may have COVID-19 and who they may have had contact with. The effort will be headed up by former city mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The governor said it will take an “army” of tracers. Bloomberg is putting up over $10 million for the effort. Over 35,000 SUNY and CUNY medical students will be boots on the ground. The state has 500 tracers currently, but could need many thousands more.

As residents deal with the economic fallout from the pandemic and the shutdown, Bellone urged people to fill out a mortgage relief survey on the county’s web site, at He would like to highlight what financial institutions are doing to “make sure they are doing the right thing,” Bellone said.

He urged residents and businesses to share their situations. If residents are struggling with the site, he suggested they can receive assistance by calling 311.

Bellone cited two recent police actions that resulted in arrests. Police arrested Matthew Christianson, a 21-year old resident of North Babylon. They charged him with nine counts of grand larceny, four counts of criminal possession of stolen property and several other infractions for a crime spree that started on April 14 and ended with his arrest.

In the Deer Park Business District, First Precinct Sergeant Robert Desanto saw a car with inadequate headlights at 12:35 a.m. When he pulled the car over, he saw glass on the back bumper and numerous cartons of cigarettes and boxes of vape pens inside. The 1st Squad detectives arrested 52-year-old Stanley Emerson of Brentwood, 32-year-old Keith Pasha of Bay Shore and 36-year-old Jacqueline DiPalma of Hauppauge and charged them with burglary in the third degree.

Police allege they drove their car through the front window of a store to steal the merchandise.

“To anyone who thinks they will take advantage of this situation, and that somehow the police will be distracted, think again,” Bellone said.