County Exec. Bellone: "We will get through this"


Suffolk County has about 6,713 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases as reported earlier this week, up nearly 1,000 cases in 24 hours. Over 17,600 people in the county have been tested at the Stony Brook University test site. Also, AFC Urgent Care centers will begin molecular testing with results within 15 minutes. However, only those with symptoms will be tested and walk-ins are not welcome. The Babylon location will be the first center up and running by this Friday.

“The ramp in testing has produced a considerable rise in numbers,” said county executive Steve Bellone. “But the number we are watching is hospitalizations, and day after day that trend continues to rise.”

County hospitals, he said, have seen numbers jump to 708 hospitalized cas- es, with 229 COVID-19 patients in ICU beds. Additionally, there have been a total number of 53 deaths as of Tues- day, up nine deaths in just one day.

“It’s a wave, and we are racing to be prepared to ramp up and reduce the size of that wave,” Bellone added, explaining how imperative it is that residents continue to comply with the governor’s guidance of social distancing and staying home.

“You need to be staying home when you can,” he continued. “Social distancing is the best way that we can play a role; everyone can [play a role] in supporting the people on the front lines who are doing their jobs and fighting for us every day.”

Also, Bellone said that the Suffolk County Police Department is continuing to enforce executive orders on social distancing. Thus far, since implementing the closure of non-essential businesses, a total of 170 complaints have been made and 15 have been found legitimate. However, every one of those, he said, made voluntary compliance. Police will continue to follow up on calls and reports.

“We need to continue to work together to fight something we have never expected to be fighting, a battle that we never expected to have, but we know it is critical to saving lives,” he contin- ued. “Every single one of our actions will have an impact on reducing the cases and keeping the health care pro- fessionals from being overwhelmed. As we follow guidance, we will get through this.”


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