In a dramatic increase numbers of positive coronavirus cases in Suffolk County rose to 239, up from yesterday’s 165 and earlier this week’s 97. Most of which, Suffolk County executive Steve Bellone said, is through community transmission. Of those, 27 are in the hospital, 7 in the Intensive Care Unit. Still, three deaths have been reported.
“This is a reflection of the testing efforts,” Bellone said today. “We are catching up to where we need to be on testing and have come a long way.”
The new Stony Brook University test site saw more than 250 individuals yesterday and a total of 1,500 to date. Call the State of New York Coronavirus Hotline 24/7 1-888-364-3065 to make an appointment. Though the hold times to make an appointment are lengthy, Bellone said admittedly, he urges those who need to be tested to wait with the phone on speaker.
The virus, he added, may not reach its peak for four to five weeks on Long Island. Meaning a rise in need for hospital beds. There are currently 479 available beds and 74 ICU beds throughout the county, which now has a total of 2,600 beds.
“Right now, it’s a question of what’s going to be needed three to five weeks from now at its peak,” Bellone said of his concerns for the number of hospital beds.
Currently, the county is working to implement potential temporary hospital spaces including pods located adjacent to the county jail in Yaphank, the Foley Nursing Facility in Yaphank or possibly the Suffolk County Community College campuses. Conversations are continuing.
For now, Bellone applauded the work being done with the community to help contain the spread of the virus and urged them to continue their efforts in social distancing, quarantining and hand washing.
“This is a war and everyone is involved in a part of this battle,” he added stating that the county government and public health workers are at the front lines. He also thanked law enforcement, EMTs and volunteer firefighters.