- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
NASSAU COUNTY, NY — The apex of new coronavirus cases is expected to hit Nassau County in "about a week," county Executive Laura Curran said Saturday, calling it an educated guess. The virus, which causes COVID-19, has stretched county hospitals thin, and Curran said Nassau needs all the help it can get.
There are 13,346 positive cases as of Friday night, up 1,322 from the previous day. Many of those are people who've already beaten the virus and are feeling better, Curran said. The death toll increased by 11 with an age range of 49 to 92, bringing the county total to 149. On Friday, 2,684 coronavirus tests were done — more than any other day since the outbreak began. Expect the number of positive cases to increase as more tests are done, Curran said.
There are 106 positive cases in the Nassau County Police Department, with 173 members in quarantine. More than 60 are back at work, however, including those who had the virus and those who tested negative. In the Sheriff's Department, there are 21 positive cases, 47 pending tests and 16 members who have been cleared.
Follow all the coronavirus updates in New York. Sign up for Patch news alerts and newsletters.
"We're really in a war," Curran said. "We're in the heat of battle right now."
Nassau hospitals are in need of resources: ventilators, protective personal equipment and staffing, Curran said, honing in on ventilators specifically.
"It is dire, it is urgent, and we need to get ventilators here as quickly as possible," she said.
As of Friday night, 1,997 people have been hospitalized due to the coronavirus, whether they've tested positive for COVID-19 or are pending tests. That's 378 more than Thursday, and Curran said the number will continue to rise. There are 355 patients on ventilators as of Friday night, up 31 from the previous day. Nassau ordered 100 ventilators for its hospitals but only received five, though Curran said the county will "get more soon."
On Friday, 171 COVID-19 patients were released from Nassau hospitals; 46 more than Thursday, Curran said. Since March 30, there have been 788 coronavirus-related hospitalization releases.
The executive said she loves to see the ingenuity happening within county hospitals, such as splitting ventilators, using BiPAP machines for sleep apnea, and using 3-D printers to create important components to turn the machines into ventilators.
"This is a battle we are all participating in," she said. "Clearly, our hospital workers and first responders are on the front lines. But so are people in their homes. Practicing social distancing, wearing masks out in public, waiting in line six feet away from other people at the grocery store. We're all on the front lines here. I can't thank our residents enough for really heeding the call and doing their part. Personally, I'm really grateful and really proud of each and every one of you."
A facility at SUNY Old Westbury will open as early as next week, and Curran is advocating "very strongly" that it be for COVID-19 patients to take some pressure off county hospitals, she said. Staff will be needed to work there, though a plan has yet to be finalized on that, Curran said.
There's been a boost in 15-minute coronavirus tests available, Curran said. First responders and health care workers are the priority in being tested.
For the county's supply drive, items can be dropped off at the Nassau County Police Department headquarters at 1490 Franklin Ave., Mineola, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The protocol on masks has been ever-changing. Citizens are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to wear face coverings out in public. Cloth face coverings made from household items or common materials are encouraged, as N-95 and surgical masks are needed by health care workers, first responders and medics.
The coronavirus issue will come to an end, and life will find it's balance again — it always does after a crisis, Curran said.
"We just have to persevere. We've got to remember we're in this fight to win it. We will get through it. Life will be different. The way we do business will be different. But life will find its balance again."
Coronavirus in New York