Tags Posts tagged with "Sports"

Sports

Stony Brook University baseball player Nick Grande slides into third. Photo from SBU Athletics

Stony Brook Athletics launched its latest fundraising campaign asking people to “Believe in the Seawolves” as the university sports program faces an uncertain future.

SBU Athletic Director Shawn Heilbron accepts the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup from America East Commisioner Amy Huchthausen. Photo from SBU

On Thursday, Oct. 8, the university’s Giving Day, Director of Athletics Shawn Heilbron held a virtual town hall through Facebook Live to answer questions surrounding the status of Stony Brook Athletics for this school year and for the future. 

“Let’s have the Stony Brook Athletics story of 2020-2021 be the greatest story in our history,” Heilbron said during the town hall. “I think we’re going to do that.”

One of the major concerns, he said, was the financial standing of the university since revenue dropped throughout the COVID-19 crisis, calling it a “dramatic financial impact.”

He mentioned that the program lost nearly $700,000 from basketball, alone, and when the school closed in March, students were reimbursed their student fees which neared a $2 million loss. 

“Ticket sales, donations, corporate partnerships … you could imagine the impact there,” he said. “The trickle down comes from the state to the school to us, and many universities across the country are dealing with it.”

He said it was close to $5 million in revenues lost. 

“We’ve made some tough decisions, many staff positions are being left unfilled,” he said. “We’re very concerned about our future … schools across the country are cutting sports, these are difficult decisions that are hard to come back.”

The new fundraising campaign coined “Believe In the Seawolves” comes from asking people to do just that. “Believe in our value and commitment to this university,” Heilbron said. “If we can get people to get behind that we can come out of this stronger … It’s more than a campaign, I want it to be a movement.”

But just because COVID-19 guidelines aren’t allowing sports to be played as of right now, Heilbron they are not cancelled, just postponed. He added that fall sports were moved to the spring, which will make for a very active season. 

“It’s going to be quite an active period for us,” he said. “We’re just starting to look at what those schedules will look like and will be announced very soon.”

He said that utilizing this time now will be a springboard for next fall, and are keeping safe in doing so.

The athletes who are participating in practices now, like basketball, have a regimented screening process before hitting the court. 

“Student athletes come through one entrance, have their temperature checked and then they get a wrist band,” Heilbron said. “They can’t come in if they don’t have the wristband.”

Although it is an uncertain time for the student athletes who worked to play at Stony Brook University, Heilbron said the first day of fall semester was a good one. 

“It literally was an energetic lift in our department that they needed,” he said. “It was good to have the family back together.”

The university announced after Thursday’s Giving Day campaign, more than 240 donors combined to contribute gifts exceeding $200,000 to go towards athletics. The campaign will continue to fundraise throughout the remainder of the year. 

by -
0 1127

If anything, high school athletes know how to lead a chant. Though instead of doing it on the field to rally their team, this time their barking voices were used to call them back to the field.

Around 60 Comsewogue athletes and their parents stood at the corner of routes 112 and 347 Sept. 18 rallying for support in demanding that Section XI, which runs Suffolk County’s scholastic sports, allows sports to start their seasons in September. 

Cole Blatter, a junior on Comsewogue’s football and wrestling teams, said despite Section XI’s promise that the new seasons for sports could start in January, there’s really no way to be sure, especially because they felt the rug was pulled out from under them already.

Sports “really adds structure to my day — I go to school and then I go to football,” he said.

For his teammates, many of them seniors, the Comsewogue athlete said he could not even well describe how upset they are.

“It’s their last season — some are never going to play football again, some of them are never going to wrestle again, some will never play lacrosse again,” Blatter said. “All of that stuff that made them happy, it’s just been taken away from them.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) gave localities the option to play certain sports deemed low risk Aug. 24, specifically excluding sports like football and volleyball because of their use of shared equipment. Though Section XI originally said it would host fall seasons for all other sports, the entity and its athletic council reversed course Sept. 11 and said it would push all sports into truncated seasons starting Jan. 4. 

The Comsewogue group was part of a large protest earlier that same day outside the Section XI building in Smithtown, demanding their voices and concerns be heard.

Parents of athletes who came to the corner of Route 112 were just as upset about the situation as their children. 

“It’s their senior year, they already lost their junior season, so to have everything be combined next spring, and we still don’t know what the [infection rate] in January is going to be — we don’t know if this promise of January is even going to happen,” Danielle Deacy said. “You’re taking so much away from these kids … scholarships, recruitment. This is such a critical time for a lot of these kids that they’ve been playing since they were 5 years old.”

Deacy, the mother of Jake, a senior at Comsewogue High School, said with the numbers being what they are, and how COVID-19 does not impact young people as much as it does older groups, “the percentage of risk compared to what they’re losing is not worth it.”

When Section XI made its decision, it said in a statement to its website Sept. 11 that it was based on the potential for increased positive cases of COVID-19, reduced spectators, a lack of locker room and facility use, increased costs related to security and transportation, and the general well-being of athletes, parents, coaches and other staff.

Still, at least one member of the Comsewogue board of education wrote a letter in favor of those protesting, namely board president John Swenning. He said in a letter read out to the assembled parents and athletes that the district has had conversations with Section XI, adding that if schools remain mostly COVID-free, then athletes should be able to play before the expected Jan. 4 start date.

“Section XI acknowledged we should continue to have an open discussion with our superintendents and athletic directors to monitor the status of the health and well-being of our students,” Swenning wrote in his letter.

But for the students, who have already missed what was planned to be the original sport start date Sept. 21, every day that goes by is another loss.

“We want to play, we want the chance to have our seasons here,” Jake Deacy said. “Our spring seasons were cut short, we can’t let that happen again.” 

Shoreham-Wading River senior mid-fielder Elizabeth Shields out maneuvers a defender at home against John Glenn. The SWR Wildcats would win their first title crown last year, but won't have another chance to play until January, 2021. File photo by Bill Landon

In a reversal from a decision made just a few weeks ago, Section XI, which manages Suffolk County high school sports, announced it would be delaying the start of all sports until Jan. 4, 2021. 

The decision, made after a Section XI athletic council vote this week, postpones the fall season and condenses all three seasons to run from January through June. In a post announcing the decision, Section XI said it will run three complete seasons for the varsity, junior varsity and modified levels. Each season will culminate in a championship event.

“While this was a difficult decision, we feel it was the best move for the health and safety of everyone involved,” said Section XI Executive Director Tom Combs in a statement to its website. “We still have a lot of hard work ahead in planning and executing on the three seasons across six months in 2021, but we look forward to the challenge and collaboration with our member schools and providing an impactful experience for our student-athletes and coaches.”

The decision was made based on what Section XI’s Athletic Council, County Athletic Directors, Safety Committee and Suffolk County Executive Board said was “the potential for increased positive cases of COVID-19, the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, officials and staff members, a reduced number of spectators, a lack of locker room and facility use, increased costs in transportation and security for school districts and equity among all school districts.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced he was allowing schools to certain sports deemed low to medium risk to start in September. Sports that were originally excluded from a fall start included football and volleyball, though cross country, track, or soccer would have been given the green light. Section XI originally said it would start with those lower-risk sports Sept. 21.

Nassau County school officials and Section VIII, which handles Nassau high school sports, have already made the decision this week to postpone all sports until the start of 2021. Some Nassau sports players have reportedly already protested having their seasons postponed. One school district, Massapequa, has already announced it is suing Section VIII to get sports back for Fall.

The seasons will run as follows:

Varsity and JV

  • Season 1 (Winter), Jan. 4 – Feb. 27
  • Season 2 (Fall), March 1 – May 1
  • Season 3 (Spring), April 26- June 19

Modified sports

  • Season 1 (Winter), Jan. 4 – Feb. 6
  • Season 2 (Late Winter), Feb. 8 – March 20
  • Season 3 (Fall), March 22 – May 8
  • Season 4 (Spring), May 10 – June 12

 

by -
0 544
Bethel Hobbs Farm's Run the Farm will be going virtual this year. Funds support the farm in its community endeavors. File photo from Councilman Kevin LaValle's office

Bethel Hobbs Community Farm is taking its annual fundraiser virtual Saturday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 13.

Brookhaven Town Councilman Kevin LaValle (R-Selden) announced he will co-sponsor the sixth annual Run the Farm Four Mile Challenge with Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma) and Friends of Hobbs Farm. Participants are invited to lace up their sneakers and traverse the four-mile course that includes a fast start on roughly two miles of flat terrain leading to a mile of rolling hills and two mildly challenging ascents before concluding at the historic grounds of Bethel Hobbs Community Farm in Centereach. The first 300 participants will receive a 4M Run the Farm buff and be entered in a special raffle. To register, people can visit BrookhavenNY.Gov/RunTheFarm. 

People can run or walk whenever they like. After running, they can go to www.elitefeats.com/Results and click on the Bethel Hobbs event to enter their name and time. They can also optionally upload up to five photos.

Proceeds will go toward repairing the Hobbs Community Farm barn that is critical to the farm’s functions, whose mission is devoted to providing fresh, wholesome produce to local food pantries and other programs in the community. Even if one doesn’t run, they can make a donation for any amount and be entered in the raffle to win a special prize. This year’s event is sponsored by ShopRite of Selden, owned and operated by the Gallagher family and Middle Country Automotive (MCA) of Selden and MCA II of Centereach.

“Hobbs Community Farm plays such an important role in the community and they rely on this annual event to continue their good work,” LaValle said. “I am proud to once again join Legislator Muratore to help make this year’s virtual ‘Run the Farm Four Mile Challenge’ a success and I thank the runners and our sponsors for their support.”

People can call LaValle’s office at 631-451-6647, email at [email protected] and visit BrookhavenNY.Gov/RunTheFarm for more information.

Mount Sinai senior running-back Matthew LoMonaco drags a Babylon defender out of the back field in the semi-final playoff round at home Nov. 15, 2019. Photo by Bill Landon

Players in Suffolk schools will be hitting the courts and fields come the start of the September sports season … well, some will be.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Aug. 24 that certain sports are allowed to start up Sept. 21, though all leagues must stay in their home region until Oct. 19. 

Sports have been divided into what are considered low or high risk. Low risk sports include soccer, tennis, cross county, track, field hockey and swimming. High risk sports would be football, wrestling, rugby, hockey and volleyball. How the distinction between the two was made was up to the New York State Department of Health.

All those sports deemed high risk will be allowed to practice starting Sept. 21 but not to play against other teams until after Dec. 31. 

There are still lingering questions about how some sports were determined to be high risk while others remain medium or low. The Department of Health guidance about sports details that a low risk sport is mostly individual activities like running, swimming or golf, or any sport that maintains little cross contamination of equipment. Medium risk sports have more but still manageable interaction between shared equipment (or the ability to clean between use) but with limited ability to maintain distance, which includes sports like baseball, soccer or even flag football. Games that need to have shared contact with equipment like volleyball or games that mandate close confines like wrestling are off the table, at least for the rest of this year.

Not every region will be participating in the fall. Nassau County school officials and Section VIII, which handles Nassau high school sports, have already made the decision this week to postpone all sports until the start of 2021. Meanwhile members of the Section XI board, which governs Suffolk sports, voted to host its sports season as described by the governor’s parameters.

What the exact guidelines for practices and games is still to be determined. Section XI wrote in a release Aug. 26 that the New York State Public High School Athletic Association has already met twice based on Cuomo’s Aug. 24 announcement. The association said it will come up with guidance for school districts to help them get started on their sports seasons.

“Over 200,000 students participate in the fall high school sports seasons and yesterday’s announcement was certainly a positive step for all those athletes,” said NYSPHSAA’s Executive Director Robert Zayas.

There will be several known restrictions for the start of the fall sports season. Indoor facilities can be at no more than 50% occupancy and districts must limit spectators to no more than two spectators per player. This is in addition to the normal masks and social distancing guidelines.

Coaches whose students will be left out of the chance for a fall sports season said it’s a hard pill to swallow. More so because of the vagaries still left for how the sports year will progress after December.

“I am in contact with the kids and I think all they want is a plan — something concrete — whether we play in the fall, or a condensed schedule starting in February,” said Mount Sinai High School Football Coach Vinnie Ammirato. “It would just be nice to get some clarity and a plan.”

Still, he understands why the decision was made.

“Everyone wants to play — with that said we need to keep the health and safety of all the players and coaches at the forefront.”

by -
0 638
Kim Bardes, right, and her husband Bruce just before she started her first round of chemotherapy July 28. Both she and her husband have recently been diagnosed with two different types of cancer. Photo from Bruce Bardes’ Facebook

By Odeya Rosenband

Kim and Bruce Bardes, husband and wife, of Shoreham are in need of support, as one after the other have now been diagnosed with cancer. A friend of the family has started a GoFundMe campaign that has raised $24,100 of its $50,000 goal, as of July 28.

“Back in April, Bruce noticed that one of his legs was swollen,” Kim said. “But he didn’t want to go to the hospital because of COVID-19.” 

Kim Bardes, right, and her husband Bruce have recently been diagnosed with two different types of cancer. Photo from Bardes’ GoFundMe

After eventually visiting the emergency room when the swelling worsened, Bruce was told he had a blood clot in one of his legs but was quickly discharged due to coronavirus guidelines. On May 6, after gardening in the backyard — one of his favorite activities, according to his wife — Bruce suffered a heart attack and stroke in the family home. When he was found unresponsive, his son ran to the neighbor’s house who was trained in CPR. Doctors suspected Bruce had cancer, and a week later, May 21, Bruce was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic lung cancer. 

Nearly two months after Bruce’s diagnosis, the family received more devastating news. Kim was diagnosed with aggressive inflammatory breast cancer. 

“It was seven weeks of me just getting my mindset around the fact that this was happening, trying to be his supporter and his support system, taking care of all of his medical needs — doing what any wife would do — when I had noticed one day that my left breast felt different in one area.” 

With a “funky family history,” Kim had gotten routine mammograms since she was 30 years old. When she visited her doctor June 30, she received a diagnosis for a type of breast cancer she had never even heard of. 

Bruce began his chemotherapy treatments in May, and Kim started hers July 28.

“I know our condition is going to get even worse because now I’m not just going to be tired from running my husband around and taking care of home, now, I got to add myself to this scenario somehow. And I don’t know how I’m going to feel from the treatments,” she said.

With a crackling voice, Kim describes their “love story turned tragedy,” as she calls it. They met at 15 years old, as sophomores at Half Hollow Hills East in Dix Hills. The basketball player and cheerleader were locker neighbors and a year later — thanks to Bruce’s persistence — they were a couple. They started dating when they were 16 years old, 34 years ago. High school sweethearts, Bruce and Kim got married in 1995 and had their first son, Austin, in 1996 and their second, Tanner, in 1999. 

“We met 35 years ago and never had a fight,” Bruce jokingly adds from the next room. “If we can’t joke, then we cry. And we’ve already done too much crying.” 

“Anybody would describe my husband as the kindest person they have ever met,” Kim said. According to their GoFundMe, Bruce coached youth basketball and baseball teams in Long Island for many years. Although he has been on disability leave since 2013 due to back injuries, he continues to be remembered as a beloved coach and has a “huge baseball family that has been giving them a lot of support,” Kim added. Kim, whose eBay business was already struggling due to the pandemic, had to halt her sales in order to care full time for her husband. 

“I don’t have a job where I can take sick leave,” Kim expressed. Now, the family has no source of income. 

“We were so excited for this year — we were turning 50, celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, and were looking forward to the second half of our lives,” she said. “Our kids are now grown up and we were getting back to being us again … we even talked about moving to Florida.” 

Kim added, “I feel blessed that we have never been hit this hard, but I didn’t expect that when we would be hit, it would be this hard.”

Overall, Bruce has been feeling better following his chemotherapy treatments. 

“He hasn’t lost a stitch of hair, which I’m definitely going to be jealous of,” Kim joked. The hardest part is going through their doctors’ visits alone, due to coronavirus guidelines. 

“COVID is making it 10 times harder because we can’t have any normalcy even if we try to,” she said. “It’s a weird feeling to ask for help because that’s not who I am, ever. But I’ve had to put my pride aside a little bit …. I can’t do it all.”

Kim, whose extended family describes her as the “matriarch,” had adopted the role of hosting Thanksgivings and annual Fourth of July celebrations. Now, without the time or energy, she’s struggling to adapt to her new normal that doesn’t include her regular hobbies like cooking and hosting. 

“This isn’t the life we had, not even close to it,” Kim said. “It seems like somebody else’s life.” 

Kim and Bruce’s family, friends and Shoreham community have been great supporters — in addition to the GoFundMe — offering their services, giving gift cards to local restaurants and writing letters. 

“Our younger son is now a shadow and doesn’t leave us alone,” Kim said. 

Their older son moved back home from Brooklyn in order to help. Kim’s mom and dad, who are 75 and 78, respectively, live in an apartment attached to the Bardes’ house and have also been significant supporters. Kim is one of three children who have all had cancer. Her sister is a nurse and has been instrumental in assisting the family, especially with their medical needs. Kim’s brother passed away at 33 years old from lymphoma. 

“You do the best you can for people and try to do the right thing and it doesn’t matter who you are but sometimes life just attacks you. It feels like we are under attack … and I don’t know why,” she said.

A statement on their GoFundMe reads: “As you may know, medical expenses and life expenses add up quickly and the family needs to make financial decisions based on the best prognosis and not the cost of care … If you are able to support the family during this time please donate. But if not, that’s okay, please join them in prayer.” 

The GoFundMe is available at:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/nqp2qt-help-bruce039s-fight-against-cancer.

Mount Sinai sophomore Joseph Spallina powers his way out of the back field against the Wildcats in the D-IV county finals at Stony Brook Nov. 24, 2019. Bill Landon photo

With school districts still to receive new guidance from the state on what education will look like in September, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association has come out early to say the fall sports sports season will start late, and they are cancelling all championships for the 2020 season.

“As the state considers reopening, it is unrealistic to believe athletic seasons can start on Aug. 24 as originally scheduled,” said Paul Harrica, NYSPHSAA president in a release. “The priority will continue to be on the educational process and a return to learning in the safest way possible.”

The start of sports will be delayed until Sept. 21. The cancelling of the championships means seasons will go on as normal and not finish with the regional and state championship. The NYSPHSAA normally hosts 32 championship events across the state each year.

Fall sports normally include boys and girls cross country, football, field hockey, boys and girls volleyball, girls tennis and boys and girls soccer.

Though acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic could cause further interruption to fall sports, NYSPHSAA came out with a condensed season plan that includes:

Season I (Winter Sports) Dates: Jan. 4 through March 13; 10 Weeks 

Note: tentative dates sports: basketball (girls and boys), bowling (girls and boys), gymnastics, ice hockey (girls and boys), indoor track and field (girls and boys), skiing (girls and boys), swimming (boys), wrestling and competitive cheer.  

Because of high risk nature of wrestling and competitive cheer, sports may have to be moved to Season II or season III. 

Season II (Fall Sports) Dates: March 1 through May 8; 10 Weeks 

Note: tentative dates sports: football, cross country (girls and boys), field hockey, soccer (girls and boys), swimming (girls), volleyball (girls and boys) and unified bowling. 

Note: Weather will have an impact upon outdoor sports in some parts of the state in March and potentially early April. Girls Tennis moved to Season III. 

Season III (Spring Sports) Dates: April 5 through Jun. 12; 10 Weeks 

Note: tentative dates sports: baseball, softball, golf (girls and boys), lacrosse (girls and boys), tennis (girls and boys), outdoor track and field (girls and boys) and unified basketball.

 

Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip. Photo from LI Ducks website

The Long Island Ducks will not take the field this season, as New York State wouldn’t allow the baseball team to allow fans to attend an abbreviated season.

While Major League Baseball teams, at least for now, can make a shortened season work without fans because of television and advertising revenue, the Ducks couldn’t make a fan-free season work.

“I’m disappointed the Ducks won’t be on the field,” County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said on his daily conference call with reporters. Bellone had hoped that the state would support capacity limits, especially in an outdoor environment which would lower the risk from the transmission of COVID-19.

Bellone said the state’s decision with the Ducks shouldn’t have any impact on youth sports, in which parents are hoping to watch their children return to fields after their sons and daughters spent months away from the competition, the teammates, and the opportunity to enjoy summer games and competition.

Viral Numbers

The number of residents who tested positive for the coronavirus was 46, bringing the total to 41,386. A total of 3,312 people were tested, which means 1.4% of the tests had a positive result, which is among the higher levels of positive tests in recent weeks.

While the percentage is higher than it’s been recently, Bellone said he doesn’t put too much stock in any one day’s results.

Hospitalizations declined by six, with 66 residents now hospitalized with COVID-19. That is the first time since March that the number of people battling against the virus in the hospital was below 70.

The number of people in the Intensive Care Unit with symptoms from the virus increased by one to 24.

Hospital capacity remained below pre-set caution levels. Overall hospital occupancy was at 67%, while ICU bed occupancy was at 59%.

Nine people were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours.

After a day without any fatalities from complications related to COVID-19, two people died in the last day. The death toll from the coronavirus stands at 1,981.

The county distributed 5,000 pieces of personal protective equipment in the last 24 hours.

Ward Melville third baseman Brady Doran rips one deep. Baseball could be coming back this summer. Photo by Bill Landon

Beginning July 6, certain youth sports will be allowed to restart in regions of the state that are in Phase 3 of reopening. Long Island entered Phase 3 June 24. 

Baseball, softball, gymnastics, field hockey, cross country, soccer, noncontact lacrosse, doubles tennis, rafting, paintball, water polo and swimming will be allowed to begin games and competitions. 

Locally, a number of sports leagues have plans to resume play next month. Town of Brookhaven baseball is tentatively set to begin its summer season on July 13. 

“We are excited to announce that we are planning on beginning our summer season the week of July 13. The plan would include an abbreviated season, ending approximately Aug. 23 (including playoffs),” a statement on the town’s website reads. “We are extremely thrilled and fortunate to have the opportunity of having a summer season for the kids. Please understand that there will have to be some accommodations and sacrifices made by teams in order to get a legitimate summer season played.”

In addition, the 2020 Varsity Wood Bat Tournament in Brookhaven will run through July 8-12 at Moriches Complex. High school baseball teams from the North Shore will be participating in the competition including the Newfield Wolverines and Centereach Cougars (Middle Country), Northport Tigers, Ward Melville Patriots, Kings Park Kingsmen, Port Jefferson Royals, Miller Place Panthers and the Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats.  

Social distancing will be enforced at all sporting events, and the state mandates the events limit spectators to two individuals per athlete.

The level of risk for each sport has been determined by the New York State Department of Health’s interim guidance for sports and recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“These guidelines apply to nonprofessional and noncollegiate sports and recreation activities (e.g. youth sports), inclusive of indoor and outdoor sports and recreation, as well as organized and nonorganized sports and recreation,” the document stated.

Sports that are deemed “high risk” will not be allowed to resume games July 6. Those include football, wrestling, ice hockey, rugby, basketball, contact lacrosse, volleyball, also competitive cheer and dance.

“Participants in higher risk sports and recreation activities may only partake in individual or distanced group training and organized no/low-contact group training,” according to the state’s guidelines.

by -
0 369
Stock photo

Even as Suffolk County prepares for the second phase of the economic reopening to begin next Wednesday, which could include outdoor dining, officials are discussing the possibility of bringing graduations and minor league baseball back.

The Long Island Ducks, a minor league team, have come up with a safety plan with protocols in place that the county plans to submit to New York State.

“The plan is incredibly thorough and has all sorts of different protocols in place to keep people safe,” County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said on his daily conference call with reporters.

If the county is able to reach the fourth phase of reopening in the middle of July, the Ducks could conceivably return to the diamond in front of a crowd of 25 percent of the normal capacity, which would enable attendees to be socially distanced in the park.

At safe distances, people could remove face coverings, the way they do when they go to beaches or are in the water. When walking around or going to the restroom, guests would need to wear face masks or coverings to protect themselves and their fellow baseball fans.

“We’re looking forward to getting this to the state,” Bellone said. “This is something that can happen.”

Additionally, while the Empire State has only permitted virtual and drive-through graduations, officials have left open the possibility of that they would review the possibility of a limited-seating graduation in July.

“I do believe we will be in a position to do this safely,” Bellone said.

The county has also worked with the Suffolk County Superintendents Association to develop a plan to create a safe, life graduation.

“I’m hopeful that will be able to happen later this summer,” Bellone said.

Viral Numbers

The viral figures continue to move in a favorable direction. Over the last day, an additional two people died from complications related to COVID-19, bringing the total to 1,918. This follows a day when one person died, so the pace of deaths, which have cast a pall over a county that was at the epicenter of the pandemic, has dramatically slowed.

Each death extinguishes a life and creates an irretrievable loss for each family, which is why the county and executive like Bellone are hoping that number soon falls to zero.

The number of people infected with the virus was 86. The total number of people who have contracted the virus is now 40,239, which is more than Singapore and Colombia, but is 2,700 less than Sweden, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The infections don’t include antibody testing. A total of 15,080 people have tested positive for antibodies.

Bellone urged residents to provide information if contact tracers reach out to them. When people limit the possible transmission of the deadly virus, as they did during the economically painful and costly New York Pause, they will save lives.

“We are still in this,” Bellone reminded residents. “We need everybody to continue to follow the health guidance and do the right thing here, so we can recovery as a community and get our small businesses back open.”

Hospitalizations, meanwhile, continue to drop. Through the 24 hour period ending on Wednesday, the number of people with COVID-19 in hospitals declined another 12, to 213.

The number of residents in the Intensive Care Unit fell by two to 54.

An additional 24 people left the hospital over the last day.

Small businesses that are struggling to meet the new supply demands for face coverings and sanitizer can submit a request starting on Monday through the suffolkcountyny.gov web site. Interested businesses should go to the Department of Labor section and submit a request. The first 1,000 people will received two reusable face cloths and a gallon jug of New York State Clean.