Long Island preparing for surge of COVID-19 cases at area hospitals

As testing increases across Long Island, so is the number of positive novel coronavirus cases. The number island wide is now more than 600, including a Nassau County Police Officer. 

“This is a lifesaving measure to stay alone,” said Nassau’s health commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein “Walk through the park, the boardwalk  but please stay away from other people.” 
A map outlining positive cases by community is now available on the Nassau County website. Officials are also encouraging residents to text COVID19NC to 888777 to receive the latest updates. 

For information in Suffolk County, residents should text COVIDSuffolk to 67283. 
On a conference call, County Executive Steve Bellone openly addressed the issue of hospital beds or lack thereof. According to Bellone, the County that's home to more than 1.5 million residents has 2600 hospital beds and the county is working with the state to add more.

“We had about 479 beds as of 5p last night, 74 ICU,” Bellone said. “We‘re evaluating sites at the County Jail, we have the Foley Skilled Nursing Facility, we’ve been in communications with Suffolk Community College. It’s question of what’s going to be needed 3, 4, 5 weeks from now when this virus reaches its peak.”

According to officials, coronavirus phone scams are trending nationwide. In Nassau County alone, scams are up almost 50% since January. They say these people prey on senior citizens and could say they're from a "coronavirus hotline" looking for insurance information or they're from a bank and it's closing. If this happens to you, police say call 9-1-1 immediately. 
“Nobody's going to ask you for your ID or infomation  over the phone,” said Nassau’s police commissioner Patrick Ryder. 
A spokesperson for Northwell Health which has 11 hospitals on Long Island says they were able to increase the number of ventilators by 50-percent over the last week.


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