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Coronavirus on Long Island: Updates for April 28

State workers check in patients arriving for COVID-19

State workers check in patients arriving for COVID-19 testing at the drive-thru test site at Stony Brook University on Tuesday. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Newsday is providing all readers with access to this breaking news blog on important developments about the coronavirus and our community.

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Tuesday afternoon updates

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Watch Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's press briefing:

Bellone announces Suffolk has access to federal relief program

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced that the county had been told late Monday it would now have access to the Municipal Liquidity Facility, which would provide temporary tax relief to homeowners impacted by the coronavirus.

Bellone said the Federal Reserve had changed the eligibility requirements of the program, giving Suffolk, Nassau and other counties access to the fund.

He said it was a “huge shot in the arm” for county taxpayers.

He also announced a seventh test site will be established in Southampton that will operate 2 days a week, starting Thursday. Hot spot testing has seen a 48% infection rate, he said.

Bellone said the number of people testing positive is going up at a slower rate than recent weeks, and there are now 33,418 confirmed cases.

In the last 24 hours, there were an additional 29 deaths, bringing the total to 1,131 people who died from the virus.

Hospitalizations continued to decline, with now 1,082 in hospitals and 44 discharged in last 24 hours. — NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch Nassau County Executive Laura Curran's press briefing:

13th straight day of declining COVID-19 hospitalizations in Nassau

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said the county experienced its 13th consecutive day of a decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations, about a 40% drop from the county’s high-water mark.

One more day of a decrease would enable the county to meet one guideline set by the CDC for reopening the economy.

“Hopefully we’ll have good news on that 14-day milestone tomorrow,” she said at her briefing Tuesday.

There were three fewer people hospitalized, bringing the total number of COVID-19 patients in Nassau’s 11 hospitals to 1,459.

Statistics for another CDC guideline – a downward trajectory of people testing positive for the coronavirus – were also encouraging, Curran said.

About three weeks ago, about 50% of those tested were positive, she said; now that number is about 21%.

State figures compiled as of Sunday night tallied 1,620 coronavirus deaths in Nassau. That figure was not updated at Tuesday’s briefing. – NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press briefing:

Cuomo's note of caution on reopening state

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo pushed back against the notion of an impending reopening of the New York economy on Tuesday, as he discussed the risks of a virus resurgence that could again overwhelm hospital systems.

He said he will be guided by health data in the state's gradual restart. He listed multiple factors in addition to guidelines by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that spell out a 14-day decline in COVID-19 hospitalization levels as a key element in considering a restart.

Some of the key metrics considered upon reopening, Cuomo said, will be whether hospital capacity remains below 70%, and whether intensive care units also have that 30% buffer.

Another key fact, he said, will be the rate of transmission, which he said ideally should stay well-below 1.1 new cases per infected person. The state is at a transmission rate of about 0.8 now, he said. 

— Newsday Staff

Tuesday morning updates

De Blasio: COVID-19 shutdown indicators down again
The three indicators used to determine whether New York City’s COVID-19 shutdown rules should be loosened have gone down again, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
New hospital admissions, the number of patients in intensive care and the percentage of those who tested positive for the virus citywide all dropped, de Blasio. The percentage of people who tested positive at the public health lab went up slightly, from 55% to 56%.
De Blasio announced Friday that the three indicators had gone down on the same day – one of the first times since the crisis began in March that they had done so.
The city is seeing “definitive and serious progress,” de Blasio said Tuesday.
De Blasio also announced new grading policies for the city’s 1.1 million public school students that would take into account the upheaval caused by the pandemic and the shutdown of schools, and said there would be citywide “virtual” graduation ceremony for graduating seniors. -- NEWSDAY STAFF

Northwell's total patients dip below 2,000
Northwell Health said Tuesday it had 1,932 COVID-19 patients at its 19 hospitals, which include 11 on Long Island.
It’s the first time since March 29 that the New Hyde Park-based health system has been below 2,000 COVID-19 patients.
“It continues to decline, which is certainly encouraging,” said Terry Lynam, a spokesman at Northwell, the largest health system in the state. – DAVID REICH-HALE

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

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