With phase one of an economic restart in its second day, leaders in Suffolk County are considering ways to enable restaurants that provide outdoor seating to open soon.
Outdoor dining is “an activity that we believe can be done safely,” County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said on his daily conference call with reporters. “We are hopeful that this is one of the areas we could see accelerated.”
Bellone said he would provide an order to grant automatic county approval to restaurants to expand their seating into creative outdoor spaces, which could include sidewalks, in the back of a restaurant, or in tents.
“There will be no delay in that process,” the county executive said.
While Bellone didn’t provide a specific time table, he added that “you could see certain activities that are moved up and outdoor dining is clearly one of those with the right protocols in place.”
As for the numbers related to COVID-19, an additional 101 residents tested positive for the virus, bringing the total to 39,359 people. That doesn’t include the 12,956 people who have tested positive for the antibody.
The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus has declined by four to 301. The number of people in ICU beds declined by two to 92. These numbers are through May 26.
Over the last day, 12 people left the hospital.
In that same period, 10 people died from complications related to COVID-19. The virus has now played a role in the deaths of 1,871 Suffolk County residents.
The County Executive’s office distributed another 39,000 pieces of personal protective equipment over the last day.
On Friday, the courts on Long Island will reopen, with judges and their staff returning. The courts will have safety measures in place.
Bellone shared his shock at the video he has seen of the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, who died after he told police officers he couldn’t breathe when he was on the ground and one of them put a knee to his neck during an arrest. Four police officers were fired in connection with Floyd’s death. Calling the video “horrific,” Bellone said he is “hopeful that we are going to see justice as quickly as possible.”
SBU Viral Research
Meanwhile, Stony Brook University announced researchers from all different schools on campus have started over 180 COVID-19 studies since the pandemic reached Long Island in March. Scientists are exploring the impacts of the virus from numerous perspectives and across the university.
Researchers are conducting 52 clinical trials on prevention, treatment and care of patients.
In the Renaissance School of Medicine, scientists have started 75 studies across 20 departments. These include exploring the benefit of convalescent plasma, using dry heat to disinfect N95 masks, using Artificial Intelligence to detect the virus and predict outcomes, determining physician health, and many others.
In the College of Arts and Sciences in the School of Medicine, one group of researchers are focusing on exchanging lipids in the viral coat, while another is examining COVID-19 proteins in plants for scaled-up production of antigens.
In the College of Arts and Sciences, over half of the 40 studies are in the Department of Psychology and are exploring the impact of isolation on well-being. Another study is looking at trainee experiences with online teaching and learning.
Scientists in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School of Medicine are conducting 10 studies. One investigates the use of Artificial Intelligence to help with drug discovery of antiviral candidates, the effects of the virus on clotting, and the development of informatics solutions for viral imaging.
Six studies are progressing in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences on decision support for cancer treatment, tracking levels of community distress, vaccine designs for unknown targets and a diagnostic tool for rapid COVID-19 infection detection.
In the School of Social Welfare, scientists are determining the impact of social distancing on mental health and substance abuse, the impact of isolation on older adults during the COVID-19 crisis, the impact of the crisis on first-generation college students, and an examination of family violence.
The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences is tracking disease prevalence in New York State communities by monitoring novel coronavirus in sewage.
The College of Business is looking at the impact of the socioeconomic status in the context of virus-related decisions.
The School of Nursing is exploring the effect of the pandemic on student nurses, while the school of Health Technology and Management is studying the impact of the virus on occupational participation and life satisfaction.