Slowly, the numbers in the fight against the coronavirus are moving in a favorable direction.
For the fourth time in six days, the number of hospitalizations in Suffolk County dropped. Residents in hospitals in the county declined by 23 to 1,562. The number of people in the Intensive Care Unit also declined by 16 to 521, while the number of people who are on ventilators also fell by 14 to 445.
“We hope those numbers will continue to go down,” County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said on his daily conference call with reporters.
In another positive sign, the number of people discharged from hospitals increased by 122, bringing the total number of people discharged from the hospital due to coronavirus infections to 2,134.
The county continued to provide personal protective equipment to first responders and health care workers. Yesterday, the county handed out 81,000 piece of personal protective equipment to fire, EMS, hospital and nursing homes. The county will hand out another round today.
Suffolk is also delivering additional masks to grocery stores and supermarkets to give to essential employees in order to protect themselves and their customers.
The county purchased 27,000 gowns that are expected to arrive tomorrow. Those gowns came from a domestic provider. Next week, the county is expecting a much larger shipment of 500,000 gowns, which the county bought from an overseas provider.
The gowns should “provide more breathing space for us,” Bellone said.
Bellone said he appreciated the ongoing quick and effective action of emergency services personnel. Several fire departments put out a brush fire in Manorville near Brookhaven National Laboratory, which started yesterday around 12:30 pm.
“Our fire departments and emergency agencies responded to the scene and they did an outstanding job in putting that out,” Bellone said. “Even in a global pandemic, [these emergency crews] are responding every day.”
Responding to questions about whether Long Island beaches and summer facilities would be open this summer, Bellone deferred any such decision until a later date.
“The amount that we have seen change in our understanding of what’s happening and the response and what works and what doesn’t is “dramatic” since the start of social distancing and New York Pause, Bellone said. “We need to tay the course. It appears we are plateauing. We are hopeful we will see the trajectory of the numbers going down.”
Separately, the number of Suffolk County Police officers who have tested positive for coronavirus is 81, with 49 returning to work.