- Click here for a new, updated story - COVID-19: Death Totals Updated For Nassau, Suffolk To 956 Combined For Both Counties
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said health officials “watching” Nassau and Suffolk counties as the number of deaths related to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is on the rise.
There have now been 18,548 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nassau County - up 1,938 from the day before, while Suffolk County has reached 15,844 cases, an increase of 291.
The total number of COVID-19 cases on Long Island has now climbed to 34,392.
At his daily COVID-19 news briefing on Thursday, April 9 in Albany, Cuomo announced there were 799 more deaths - most in a single day - tied to the virus, bringing the statewide total to 7,067 since the outbreak began. It's the third straight day the statewide death total has been a new record.
Cuomo said that Nassau and Suffolk are among the counties he is keeping a close eye on, and that reinforcements and supplies have been earmarked for the suburb, with the new equipment arriving Wednesday night, April 8. New temporary healthcare facilities are also being set up on parts of Long Island that have been hit the hardest by the virus.
“We’ve been watching Rockland County, Nassau County, Suffolk County closely,” he said. “We’re looking at the concentric circles around New York City, and the natural spread circles are toward the suburbs. Westchester has already had trouble, now we’re seeing new hotspots on Long Island and the other suburbs.
During his COVID-19 update, Cuomo went over several projection models they have studied, with an extreme of 136,000 cases in New York City alone, and as few as 73,000. When the outbreak began, New York had a 53,000 hospital bed system, which has been stretched to nearly 90,000.
“Any of these scenarios are devastating for New York. Any of these scenarios are problematic,” he said. “We’ve increased the capacity of the system dramatically, and so far our efforts are working better than anyone predicted they would work, because people are complying with the new normal. We can’t underestimate this virus.” ”
Cuomo noted that it’s been 18 days since the state was effectively shut down of non-essential business and group gatherings under the PAUSE executive order, it’s been 39 days since the first COVID-19 case in New York, and 80 days since the first case came to the country.
Since those drastic measures, Cuomo said that they’ve noticed the “stay at home” order has been relatively effective in “flattening the curve,” in the number of cases and hospitalizations overall, including now in New York City, although that flattening has not yet happened on Long Island and in Rockland County.
Only 200 new patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 overnight, down from a peak of more than approximately 1,300 daily earlier this month.
“Statisticians said that ‘we don’t know how effective it would be to close things down and social distance,’ because we’ve never done it before,” he said. “That’s the opportunity to flatten the curve, but you’ve got to get people to comply with the measures and we’ve never seen anything before like this in the country. They didn’t know if we could get them to comply.
“We should still be concerned. We can’t have people saying ‘well, we’re flattening the curve, now I can relax.’ No. You can’t relax, because the curve only flattened last night and that’s because of what we did yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that.”
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