Long Island officials scrambling to prepare as coronavirus infections rise

On Friday officials announced at least 4,657 cases of novel coronavirus confirmed in Nassau County and at least 3,385 in Suffolk. And as New York approaches the anticipated peak of infection, officials want to make sure there are enough resources available on Long Island.

"It's not so much about beds," said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. "Beds are easy but ventilators aren't so easy."

As of Thursday night, Nassau County had 696 COVID-19 related hospitalizations, 157 of them required a ventilator. The County reported eight new deaths bringing the total to 27.

In Suffolk County, 331 residents are hospitalized, 119 are in the ICU, with another  8 deaths reported making the total number to 30.

On a conference call Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced the early graduation of police recruits - a move officials say will  help the county combat the spread of coronavirus. Free emergency childcare assistance is now available in Suffolk County to help employees on the front lines.

"This new program will be open Monday through Friday from 7a to 630p," Bellone said. "It's on a first come first serve basis,  there are twelve school districts participating in the program, staffed by trained childcare professionals."

As for first responders, Nassau County is reporting 49 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its police department. In Suffolk we're told 18 of its members have the virus. Now of the total cases from both counties, only two individuals are hospitalized.

To ensure social distancing, the City of Long Beach closed its 2.2 mile boardwalk on Thursday night. "Social creatures being told to isolate socially isn't easy but remember if this is a war we have to do our part to support the front lines," Curran said.

Within the new few weeks New York State is expected to open a temporary medical facility at SUNY Old Westbury to help deal with the anticipated surge.


Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. It is FREE!

Download for iOS or Android