It took nearly three months, but on Friday Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said he was relieved that finally he could report the first day in Suffolk without a death from the novel coronavirus.
“Today certainly is a milestone for us, and for me personally,” Bellone said during his daily COVID-19 briefing June 12. He said he never imagined he would be in a position where he reported fatalities day in and day out.
Back on March 16, the first person in Suffolk died from COVID-19, he said. “Here we are now the middle of June essentially and I’m very happy to say today that I can report zero deaths from COVID-19 over the last 24 hours.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier reported 42 deaths statewide as of June 11, up slightly from the 36 deaths reported on June 10.
In Suffolk, Bellone said the end to the fatal streak is a measure of the progress the county has made after losing 1945 people to the deadly virus. The county executive said it is also a credit to the healthcare workers “who stood the line” during the pandemic, what he has likened on several occasions to a war.
“We still have a ways to go. We have much more to do. This is certainly not over,” he said.
Bellone said he knows the virus’s devastation. The economic devastation is far reaching because of the shutdown. He said challenges people were facing before the pandemic have only been made worse because of the virus, such as food insecurity, mental health, and addiction issues. “Only with the march of time will we see those impacts fully,” he said.
But, the good news is the numbers continue to move in a positive direction. While a total of 40,559 people have tested positive for the virus in Suffolk County, there were 47 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.
Hospitalizations also continue to decline. As of June 10, the last reporting figure available, Bellone said 134 people are hospitalized from the virus, 17 less than June 9. There were 41 patients in the intensive care units in Suffolk hospitals, four less than the day before.