Suffolk County executive under voluntary quarantine after staffer tests positive for coronavirus
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced on a conference call on Monday afternoon the county's first two novel coronavirus deaths. He also said that a senior member of his staff tested positive for COVID-19.
Bellone is under voluntary quarantine and said it is important to stay home and lead by example. The number of confirmed cases in Suffolk continues to rise with a new total of more than 74.
"[The] first individual is a male in his 80s, the second individual is a man in his 90s," he said. "It's clear based on the numbers that the virus is here present in the community. It's simply the lack of broad testing that has kept the numbers down."
And according to officials, as testing ramps up so will the number of cases.
Across Long Island, public and private schools, gyms and theaters are closed. Restaurants are still open but only for takeout or delivery.
In Nassau County, officials have confirmed at least 109 cases including one in the Nassau County Jail.
"This is the mantra: mitigation and containment strategy," Curran said.
Health and government officials in Nassau County practiced social distancing themselves by holding Monday morning's news briefing outside.
"Over the last week, OEM has distributed approximately 34,000 pairs of gloves, 4,000 gallons of hand sanitizer and more than 40,000 face masks," Curran said.
The possibility of drive-thru testing facilities on Long Island is on the table. Park police are guarding an area of Jones Beach where officials plan to offer testing.
"We're talking about more mass testing capabilities and that will make a very big difference--not only in people getting tested but in how rapidly the results will come back," said Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein, Nassau County's health commissioner.
Officials have also begun possibly turning existing county buildings into health care facilities to deal with a spike in cases.
Advice from the county executives: get fresh air and spend time outside. Nassau saw a record golf attendance over the weekend.