Hospitalizations Rise Slightly, Though Phased Reopening Still Possible

Hospitalizations Rise Slightly, Though Phased Reopening Still Possible

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The closely-watched hospitalization rate crept up in the last day, disrupting a streak that had Suffolk County within a day of reaching the critical 14-day declines the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had recommended for a phased reopening.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 rose by 4 to 817, as the number of people discharged from the hospital increased by 33, which is about a third of the pace for the last few weeks.

The slight increase in hospitalizations, however, does not reset the CDC guidance clock, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said the state would use a rolling three-day average of hospitalizations.

“We are confident we will meet that metric,” County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said on his daily conference call with reporters. “Based on what we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks, my expectation is that will be declining once again tomorrow.”

Cuomo’s daily press briefing outlined the basics for reopening the New York, though downstate counties such as Nassau and Suffolk are going to have to wait longer than upstate, which could see things open much sooner as the May 15 deadline for New York Pause order expires.

The number of people in Intensive Care Unit beds declined by seven to 317.

The number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus climbed by 563 to 37,537. Bellone said hotspot testing sites that have also provided food distribution would now include Huntington Station. Last week, the county added food distribution at Wyandanch and Brentwood.

The number of people who have died from complications related to COVID-19 increased by 17 to 1,273, which is lower than recent fatality rates. It still, however, represents the loss of another 17 people.

Separately, Northwell Health and New York State have started the process of antibody testing at the Suffolk County Police Academy for law enforcement today. The health care professionals tested 400 police officers today.

“We will be testing not only police officers, but also correction officers, deputy sheriffs and probation officers,” Bellone said. The testing will expand to include first responders, Emergency Services Staff, fire and essential employees.

Bellone urged anyone interested in joining the county’s Suffolk Forward business initiative, which is a joint effort with Stony Brook University, to reach out through 311.