While public health officials initially expressed concerns for the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Suffolk County has started to see an increasing number of cases of what’s known as Kawasaki disease.
In the county, seven children are currently hospitalized with a disease that doctors believe is linked to COVID-19. One child has died from this disease, which causes inflammation that can require medical attention. Children in Europe and the U.S. including in San Francisco, have exhibited symptoms of this disease.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said today the condition has impacted 100 people and has killed three. Kawasaki disease, also known as pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, affects children mostly between ages 5 to 14, though it has affected some children younger than that.
The pandemic “does impact kids directly,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said on his daily conference call with reporters. Although the county, like New York City which has several cases and deaths as well, “doesn’t completely understand it at this point.” Bellone urged children to wear face masks and practice social distancing in the same way as their parents and grandparents.
“We’ve known from the beginning that kids transmit the virus,” Bellone said. “This is all about protecting everyone as we try to restart our economy.”
In the last day, the number of new positive tests for COVID-19 increased by 150 to 37,062. Those numbers are about 10 percent of the new daily total just a few weeks ago.
Through yesterday, the number of residents hospitalized decreased by 15 to 575, which is “another real indication of the progress we are making.”
The number of people in Intensive Care Units fell by six to 216.
Of the 2,973 hospital beds in the county, 918 are available, while 209 ICU beds are available among the 619 in the county.
Amid a death toll that has risen by another 15 in the last day, bringing the total on Long Island to 1,654, the Association of Mental Health and Wellness is offering bereavement support groups online, starting next Tuesday.
“For those who have lost loved ones, friends, family members, this is there for you,” Bellone said. There are different categories of support groups for grieving adults, peer bereavement, veterans groups and a creative arts bereavement group.
Those interested in these support groups can sign up or register through bereavement.mhaw.org.