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Coronavirus on Long Island: Updates for May 6

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Donald Clavin offers thanks

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Donald Clavin offers thanks to people coming out to get a mask-making kit outside Town Hall in Hempstead on Tuesday. The Boy Scouts are making masks to receive a Coronavirus Merit Badge for their work. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

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

What's happening today:

Wednesday afternoon updates

MTA: More than 700 used to clean subway system

MTA officials said Wednesday that the first night of their daily shutdown of the city’s subway system for deep cleaning went well, and also taught some important lessons that the agency would use going forward. More than 700 cleaners surged the underground transit system from 1 a.m. until 5 a.m. as part of the historic shutdown — among very few times in the subway’s 116-year history that it has not operated 24 hours day.

New York City Transit acting president Sarah Feinberg said most, if not all, of the subway’s fleet was disinfected, with some cars being hit more than once. Feinberg said, all things considered, the effort went “better than I ever had a right to expect.”

“In a different world, if we were going to execute on something like this, it would take, at least, months to plan, if not a year,” Feinberg said.

MTA officials convened Wednesday morning to discuss some lessons learned from the first night of the effort, including the need for additional cleaners at some locations, and the effectiveness of spray foggers over squeeze-bottles for dispensing cleaning solutions. “Every day, we will get a little bit better,” Feinberg said.

As part of the effort, police, MTA and social service workers removed more than 2,000 homeless people from the subway system overnight. Of those, 139 accepted offers for transportation to shelters or medical facilities, MTA officials said. – ALFONSO CASTILLO

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Bellone: Hospitalization back down after 2-day rise

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said hospitalizations in the county, which increased Sunday and Monday, went down again by 62 patients Tuesday.

“That’s a great result,” said Bellone, who said he had been concerned over the prior 2-day trend.

He said 38,985 people in Suffolk have tested positive including about 3,000 who tested positive for antibodies.

Hot spot testing revealed a 41% infection rate, down from a high of 54 %, he said, with the general population’s infection rate at just over 34%.

He said other CDC metrics that set the stage for reopening were also being met, in addition to the 14-day hospitalization decline, such as hospital capacity being at about 70%.

Bellone also warned the public not to fall for phone scams amid the pandemic and said Suffolk had established a hot line for those who have fallen victim or who want to check with authorities.

That number is 631-852-SCAM

--Newsday staff

Watch Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's press briefing:

Curran: 256 violations for price-gouging PPE, faulty supplies in Nassau


Nassau County’s Office of Consumer Affairs has issued 256 violations to businesses for price gauging of critically needed medical supplies or selling faulty personal protective equipment, County Executive Laura Curran said Wednesday, part of “Operation Sticker Shock,” which was launched in March.


“Price gauging of critical supplies is unconscionable,” Curran said at her daily COVID-19 briefing, which Wednesday was held outside Nassau University Medical Center.
Curran said the county’s Office of Emergency Management has issued 2 million pieces of PPE and will continue to supply more as needed.


Also Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Boutin, the chief medical officer for NuHealth, which oversees the hospital, said NUMC currently has 52 COVID-19 patients – a 74% decline from the hospital’s peak – and 20 patients pending results. Boutin said the hospital would discharge its 565th COVID-19 patient Wednesday.


Curran reported that 10.3% of Nassau residents tested for coronavirus in the past day tested positive, a number that continues to decline. –NEWSDAY STAFF

Nassau legislator says #ThankANurse today

Long Islanders can thank nurses, whose work has been crucial during the coronavirus pandemic, via a social media campaign spearheaded by Nassau Leg. Bill Gaylor (R-Lynbrook).


Anyone wishing to participate can visit Gaylor’s Facebook page and share a graphic created for National Nurses Day, which is celebrated on Wednesday, with an “encouraging” message and the hashtag #ThankANurse, Gaylor said. Participants can also create their own post using the hashtag.


“While nurses have always been on the forefront of protecting our community’s health, their service and sacrifice has been amplified by their heroic work on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak,” Gaylor said in a statement. – JOAN GRALLA

Watch Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s press briefing:

Cuomo: 18% of state’s new COVID-19 hospitalizations are on LI


Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday that new efforts to find the source of daily new COVID-19 hospitalizations have determined that 18% were on Long Island.


State officials have asked hospitals statewide to provide information about new COVID-19 hospitalizations as they try to reduce that number, which is currently 600.


Cuomo, speaking at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in Manhasset, said preliminary results -- from 113 hospitals and 1,269 survey responses completed over three days – showed that another 57% of the new hospitalizations are in New York City. In the city, 45% of those hospitalizations are African American or Latino, the survey showed.


Cuomo also said the survey showed 66% of newly hospitalized COVID-19 patients came from their homes, and 18% came from nursing home facilities. “Much of this comes down to what you do to protect yourself,” he said.


Those new hospitalizations also were “disproportionally older,” Cuomo said. He said the survey’s definition of older “starts at 51 years old.”


Only 4% had taken public transportation, and only 17% were working, he said.


 The governor said there were 232 new deaths Tuesday, up from 230 recorded on Monday. – NEWSDAY STAFF

Watch Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press briefing:

Northwell says it’s down 60% since peak of virus
Northwell Health on Wednesday said the number of COVID-19 patients at its 19 hospitals continues to fall. The New Hyde Park-based health system said it had 1,339 coronavirus patients, a 28% drop from the same period a week ago and a 60% drop from the peak on April 8.

Northwell said it has seen a decline every day since April 20. Northwell added that the number of patients on Long Island continues to fall. It reported 915 patients here, down 27% in the last week. – DAVID REICH-HALE

NYC to gather community input ahead of reopening


 Mayor Bill de Blasio is convening “sector advisory councils” to recommend the personal protective equipment, temperature checks, cleaning regimens and other steps that should be in place whenever the city begins to reopen from its coronavirus pandemic shutdown.
 The councils, announced Wednesday, will also recommend how public gatherings like religious services and nightlife should resume.
 The councils – in areas such as business, labor and religion – will begin discussions this week, de Blasio said.


 The mayor also announced an additional two miles of streets where cars would be largely banned and opened up to pedestrians. More than seven miles of streets were opened last week.


 De Blasio also said the three indicators that must decline in unison for 10 to 14 sustained days before the city can reopen posted mixed results.


 The number of people admitted to the hospital for coronavirus increased to 109 on Monday versus 75 as of Sunday. The number of people in intensive care was 599 on Monday, up from 596 on Sunday. And the percentage of positive tests for the virus was 15%, down from 22% on Sunday. – MATTHEW CHAYES

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