Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said on Monday that no residents of the county had died from Covid-19 in the most recent 24-hour reporting period, which ended on Saturday. It was the first time since June 12 that he was able to report zero deaths from the virus, he said.
The total number of deaths in Suffolk County remains 1,979. “I do hope and pray that it will not be another 17 days for me to be reporting zero deaths again,” Mr. Bellone said in his daily briefing with press. “Hopefully, this is the start of something we will continue to see moving forward.”
Other statistics “continue to look very good,” the county executive said. Thirty-three new positive infections were recorded in the 24-hour reporting period, bringing the county’s total to 41,339 people. There were 4,481 tested. “That infection rate is excellent, .7 percent,” Mr. Bellone said. “Those are great numbers.” According to the latest data, 19,074 Suffolk residents have tested positive for antibodies, indicating exposure to the coronavirus.
Statewide, the infection rate was .8 percent, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo reported on Monday.
The number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 in Suffolk fell by three, to 72. Covid-19 patients in intensive care unit beds also decreased by three, to 23. Of 3,052 hospital beds in the county, 980 are available, an occupancy rate of 68 percent. Among intensive care unit beds, 198 of 516 are available, an occupancy rate of just under 62 percent. Twenty people were discharged from hospitals in the 24-hour reporting period, Mr. Bellone said.
In another sign of a resumption of normalcy as Long Island moves through the third of a four-phase reopening, Suffolk County Transit has resumed front-door boarding as well as on-board payment. Both had been suspended early in the pandemic in an effort to protect riders and employees alike.
Passengers had been required to board a bus via its rear door, and the first few rows of buses were off limits to passengers in order to maintain a safe social distance between driver and passenger, Mr. Bellone said. Protective barriers have been installed to keep drivers safe, and passengers are still required to wear a face covering on the bus until further notice. Passengers are encouraged, though no longer required, to pay the fare via mobile app.