On Father’s Day, which also coincides with the start of summer, County Executive Steve Bellone (D) exuded optimism about the ongoing recovery from COVID-19, which created tremendous strain on the health care system and led to a lockdown that crippled the economy amid shuttered businesses.
“I’m happy to report for the first time since March 22 that we are below 100 people hospitalized with COVID-19,” Bellone said on his daily conference call with reporters. “That is a real milestone for us.”
Indeed, the number of people hospitalized fell by eight to 98 through the 24 hours ending on June 19. At the same time, the number of people in Intensive Care Unit beds has declined by 10 to 21.
“We have gone up this mountain, we have seen this surge occur, we have come down on the other side,” Bellone said. “As we begin summer now, we are in a far, far different place than we were.”
An additional 10 people were discharged from the hospital over the last day.
The number of people who tested positive for the virus was higher than in recent days, with 64 people testing positive for the coronavirus. That number had been tracking in the 40s. The percentage of positive tests rose above one percent, climbing to 1.2 percent.
While this remains a closely watched number, Bellone said he wasn’t particularly concerned about an increase of that size on a single day.
The number of people who have the antibody to the virus stands at 18,021.
For the third day in a row, one person died from complications related to the coronavirus. The total number who have died in Suffolk County since the pandemic began is 1,964.
Amid a report in the New York Times that contact tracers in New York City have only received information from 35 percent of people who tested positive for the virus about their interactions prior to their positive test, Bellone said he remains focused on the fall for any potential resurgence in the virus.
“Right now, we do have this opportunity to really hone and get down everything we need with contact tracing,” Bellone said. The focus is on getting the system right and ensuring that it works “better and better every day.”
He anticipates the contact tracing effort will include tweaks over the next few months.