LONG ISLAND - Sobering news from Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone who is now under mandatory quarantine after another senior member of his staff tested positive for COVID-19.
On Friday afternoon, the County announced four new virus-related deaths over the past 24 hours - three of them were in their 90s and lived at Peconic Landing- a retirement home on the East End of Long Island.
The number of positive novel coronavirus cases in the County climbed to at least 459, including one police officer with Suffolk's Highway Patrol Bureau.
“The number of deaths now stands at 7 in Suffolk County,” he said. “Right now it's about doing everything we can to reduce deaths or illness.”
In Nassau, officials report at least 754 cases along with four deaths.
And as the number of people infected with the virus continues to rise, officials stress the need of helping children, seniors and veterans who rely on free or reduced breakfast and lunch.
“Right now we have 44 pantries that have closed down out of the 364,” said Paule Pachter with Long Island Cares. “I do expect more will be closing.”
Officials with Long Island Cares, a regional food bank says the nonprofit organization has over a million pounds of food.
Now with 100% of New York's workforce staying home, it's important healthy volunteers continue to help those in need. Long Island Cares is spreading out shifts- only six at a time and they're carefully keeping their distance.
According to Long Island Cares, there are currently 259,000 people who rely on the services of the emergency food network. They say it's likely an additional 50,000 Long Islanders will need assistance after more businesses temporarily close.