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Survey shows infection rates for NY, LI

A baseline number for NY, LI

In trying to develop "a baseline of infection rate," the state found 13.9% of residents had the antibody indicating they had been infected with the coronavirus.

Long Island's 16.7% is the second-highest coronavirus infection measurement in the state, according to the random sample of 3,000 people taken over the last two days outside supermarkets and other stores.

Meanwhile, the percentage of people testing positive for the coronavirus on Long Island has fallen for three weeks, but public health experts cautioned the trend may not indicate the rate of new infections is slowing.

The above chart shows the number of new coronavirus cases confirmed in Nassau and Suffolk in recent days. You can see more charts and maps tracking hospitalizations, testing, deaths and other statistics for Long Island. 

The numbers as of 3 p.m.: 32,124 confirmed cases in Nassau, 29,567 in Suffolk, 145,855 in New York City and 263,460 statewide.

Families looking for answers

Across New York, nursing homes and other adult facilities have reported more than 3,500 COVID-19 fatalities, roughly one of every four coronavirus deaths in the state.

But family members insist the COVID-19 death rates are considerably higher.

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Debra Garofolo's 88-year-old mother, Julie Toves, died on April 12 at Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. The death certification lists coronary artery disease, but Garofolo has no doubt Toves succumbed to the coronavirus.

“Where were the extra supplies? The extra staff? They left them there like they didn't matter,” Garofolo said. “The hospitals got help. They got triage centers built; extra capacity of beds and ventilators. But what about my mom? What about my mom? Because she’s old and she’s infirmed she doesn’t count?”

The bold step that saved her life

Sixteen-year-old Karla Duarte was on a ventilator at Cohen Children’s Medical Center on April 4, battling COVID-19, the disease that was weakening her lungs. And she was getting worse.

Doctors already had tried conventional therapies and experimental drugs before deciding to take a much bolder step. They put Karla on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation device that took over the function of her lungs and added extra oxygen to her blood.

Karla was discharged from the New Hyde Park hospital Sunday to rousing cheers from the hospital staff. They believe she was one of the first — if not the first — juvenile cases of COVID-19 in the nation successfully treated with an ECMO machine.

“I was crying so much,” Karla said about her spirited send-off from the hospital. “I was so emotional, I couldn’t speak. They saved my life.”

Returning to the front lines after eight days in the hospital

Dr. Scott Schubach remembers the date: On March 22, he had a slight cough that was "probably nothing."

A little more than a week later, he was hospitalized with COVID-19 at NYU Winthrop in Mineola, the same hospital where he is the chairman of cardiothoracic surgery.

"I went in on that Monday, started feeling achy and left work," Schubach, 62, said. "By the following Monday, I was having trouble breathing."

This week, after eight days in the hospital, including three days in the ICU, Schubach returned to work after a month on the sidelines.

Observing Ramadan differently 

While Long Island’s Muslim community may be observing Ramadan this year from home and through screens, Isma Chaudhry says: “In spirituality and good deeds, we are together.”

Chaudhry chairs the board of trustees for the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury, one of the largest mosques in the region. She said that during the month of Ramadan — which begins Thursday evening and lasts until May 23 — one of the biggest services Muslims provide to one another is charity.

The tradition has taken on new meaning during the pandemic.

“This is the month that we really put everything else worldly on hold and reconnect with our spirituality and the Islamic rites,” Chaudhry said. “So we have to really improvise a lot.”

More to know

Local communities are awaiting guidelines from the governor on how Long Island’s beaches may reopen along the South Shore. 

Less than a third of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Northwell Health hospitals on Long Island and New York City had a fever upon triage, even though fever is viewed as a key indicator of the disease, a study found.

Long Island homeowners pulled their homes off the market — or declined to list them — as the pandemic took hold last month, and local brokers say sales are nearly at a standstill.

More than 4.4 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, the government said.

Now that Long Island public schools canceled the spring sports season, thoughts turn to the fall season and the decisions facing school administrations.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority ratified a plan to pay $500,000 to the families of each MTA employee who has died from COVID-19.

The plan to reopen the economy hinges on hiring and training an army of contact tracers across Long Island and beyond. The scale — and the technology that will be paired with time-honored human investigative methods — will be unprecedented, officials said.

News for you

DIY grooming. Trying to groom your cats and dogs from home? From washing hair to brushing teeth, here are some tips you need to pamper your furry friends. 

Football food to go: If you've been waiting for some live sports news and want to make the most of it, four restaurants are offering takeout food and beer for the NFL Draft that begins tonight.

“Scoob!” goes digital. The animated Scooby-Doo film “Scoob!” will bypass theaters and premiere directly on digital platforms, Warner Bros. said. It had originally been set to open in theaters on May 15. 

Customized gifts on demand. You can still get that personalized gift without having to leave the house. Some Long Island shops are taking orders for customized or monogrammed gifts that can be delivered right to your door.

Calling all fans of "The Office." Cast members are offering a virtual coffee date in a sweepstakes to raise funds for the Los Angeles charitable organization Variety Boys & Girls Club.

Streaming gigs from home. Without Long Island venues as their stages, these local female millennial singers are holding livestream concerts from their homes

Virtual views, but real wine. Wineries around the country have been finding virtual ways to offer tastings

PlusWatch the replay of our webinar featuring experts from Stony Brook University Hospital, who answered questions and provided information about the pandemic. 

Revisit our previous free webinars that covered resources for small businesses and caring for your mental health.

Visit our live blog for real time updates about the virus' impact on the Island and watch the latest daily wrap-up video.

Commentary

At the Long Island State Veterans Home, communication is key

When former Great Neck State Assemb. Michelle Schimel’s 96-year-old father, Howard Extract, passed away this week, Schimel had nothing but praise for the Long Island State Veterans Home, where he lived for the past seven years.

She says his care had been extraordinarily good, the attention he received astonishingly personal and the communication from the home refreshingly clear, writes Lane Filler in his latest Newsday Opinion column.

That last is a rarity right now.

Across Long Island and New York, many nursing homes have dropped the ball on communication with the loved ones of residents and on transparency about the way the coronavirus is affecting their facilities.

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