Saturday marked the first week since March that Suffolk County reported no new COVID-related deaths.
From Saturday, July 11 to Saturday, July 18, the death toll remained at 1,993, though on Sunday, July 19, there was one additional fatality. As of Monday, there were no more deaths reported and the number stands at 1,994.
“The most difficult and somber part of every briefing is reporting the number of Suffolk County residents who had passed away due to COVID-19,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a statement for a request to comment. “With a full week of zero fatalities related to COVID-19, it is a new day in Suffolk County and serves as a reminder of just how far we have come. This is a milestone that should be celebrated, but we must remember that the war is not over yet and we need everyone to continue following the lifesaving measures that have been put in place to protect public health.”
The first COVID-related death in Suffolk was reported on March 16, and there was at least one death each day for three months, until June 12 when Bellone was able to deliver some good news. Forty-eight more deaths followed until July 11.
While fatalities have plateaued, hospitalizations had increased over the past week, though the number came down again on Sunday. As of July 17, 61 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Suffolk, when just one week earlier, on July 10, there were 50 people in the hospitals. As of July 19, 47 were hospitalized, a decrease of 14.
Currently, there are 15 patients in the intensive care units, an increase of seven compared to one week earlier.
Still, it’s a far cry from where Suffolk was just three months ago when there were more than 1,400 COVID patients hospitalized at one time.
Over the past week, 78 COVID patients were discharged from the hospital, a total of 5,549 since March 22.
As of Monday, there have been 42,496 cases of the novel coronavirus diagnosed in Suffolk, an increase of 30 from the day before, giving the county a .07 percent infection rate. Long Island’s infection rate, as a region, sits at 1 percent.
All this comes after a small uptick in positive COVID-19 cases and a rise in the infection rate last week.
On Tuesday, July 14, Bellone reported 102 new positive cases in a 24-hour period and an infection rate of 2.1 percent. The number of new cases has not risen above 100 since May 31. After weeks of daily numbers ranging from 40 to 60, there were 84 new cases reported on July 13. The county’s infection rate hovered around 1 percent for several weeks, then spiked to 1.9 percent on July 13.
“These numbers should be a wake-up call today,” Bellone said on July 14. “This is not over.”
For a detailed day-to-day accounting of COVID-related statistics, click here.