Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone can see light at the end of the tunnel.
For one of the few times since the pandemic began, Bellone started his daily COVID-19 briefing with an optimistic assessment: “We are in a far better place” than a month ago, he said, leaving him “very happy.”
It’s because the county has passed the peak infection rate. For example, the number of patients hospitalized with the novel coronavirus dropped to under 1000, to 970. The one day drop of 77 was “one of the largest drops ever,” Bellone said. The number has been as high as 1658. The last time there were less than 1000 people hospitalized in the county was April 1.
The damage caused is catastrophic and will never be fully erased — there are now 1177 Suffolk County casualties, 22 of them in the 24-hour period between his reports. But more patients are checking out of the hospital than those who are checking in, another sign the rate of infection may be waning.
Bellone is talking about some limited openings, though the county will be bound by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive orders.