Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said today while 25 people have died due to COVID-19 in the past day, New York State data shows the county’s total deaths related to COVID-19 jumped by 226 since last reported two days ago. The total deaths jumped from 1,296 to 1,522.
“This number lists numbers of people who may have been presumed COVID positive,” Bellone said. “This includes persons who were from nursing homes who are now added to that list.”
While from May 3 to May 5, the numbers of deaths the state reported from nursing homes jumped by only around 30, the spike is a prodding reminder the final death toll from the virus could be much higher than what residents are currently seeing in daily reports. The county executive said it will take time before we finally get the full and clear picture.
“We have been talking about this for weeks, that the official numbers being reported are under what the full amount will be. If I had to say we won’t’ know the full number until after this is over and we are looking back.”
804 more people tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 39,789 in Suffolk. Antibody testing initiatives have resulted in 3,531 being confirmed to have the antibodies, with those numbers being added to the list of confirmed cases.
Otherwise, Suffolk County is continuing to see a downward trend in overall hospitalizations, with 54 less people in hospitals bringing the total to 719.
“We seem to be back on our downward trend for hospitalizations,” Bellone said.
Though hospitalizations decreased, the numbers of ICU patients went up by six to a total of 301.
Hospital capacity is sitting at 3,062 beds, with 841 available. That puts Suffolk at 73 percent capacity, which is slightly above reopening targets of 70 percent. For ICU beds 600, 180 are available, which is right at the required 70 percent. 88 people in the last 24 hours have been discharged from the hospital and are recovering at home.
These data points are paths county officials are closely following, as they are the leading to a path that could hopefully begin the reopening process for Suffolk. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) New York Pause order is set to expire May 15, though the governor has expressed multiple times that upstate regions, which were hurt much less than the city, Nassau and Suffolk, will likely begin reopening first.
Either way, the county executive said progress is being made on reopening efforts. With six different committees working on different aspects and plans, some task forces are making headway. The county said it would release a resource guide for businesses on reopening, working in everything from federal and state resources to what’s currently available on the local level. That guide can be found at suffolkcountyny.gov/bru which should be available before the end of the day May 7.
Meanwhile, Cuomo announced further relief efforts for renters, preventing them from being evicted due to not being able to pay rent from now until Aug. 20.