A total of 97 residents, including three who have lost their lives, have tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a conference call with the media Tuesday afternoon.
The third patient to die was a woman in her 90s, who was being treated at Huntington Hospital.
Southold Town has more than any other town with 28, with Huntington next at 24. Riverhead Town now has two confirmed cases, the County Executive said. Shelter Island is the only Suffolk town with no confirmed cases.
“In less than a week, our whole world has changed in the way that we live our daily lives,” the county executive said.
Mr. Bellone also said the county is close to having a mobile testing site up and running with assistance from New York State in an effort to increase testing. While details are still being worked out, he expects it to launch later this week at an undetermined location.
So far, 554 patients have been tested in Suffolk County, with 17% being confirmed positive for COVID-19, according to Suffolk County health commissioner Dr. Gregson Pigott.
Mr. Bellone also gave updates on several initiatives the county is undertaking:
• He said the county is transferring $500,000 in unused snow removal money to the Fire Rescue and Emergency Services fund to help pay for the costs of the county’s efforts to stop the spread of the virus. The county has is also receiving $700,000 from the New York State Department of Health.
“[The funding] will help support our local health department and the critical work they are doing on the front lines,” he said.
• He also said the county is working with labor officials and business leaders to deal with economic hardships in the county.
“We need to understand what is happening on the ground,” he said of the economic loss in relation to the virus.
“At the end of the day we also know there are extraordinary economic impacts here.”
On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo forced restaurants to eliminate seating and switch to takeout and delivery only, and closed all gyms and movie theaters. Many other businesses have been effected by the crisis as county residents hunker down in their homes in an effort to “socially distance” themselves.
• Mr. Bellone also urged residents to sign up for the Smart-911 app, which allows you to provide 911 operators with critical health information in real time.
When you call 9-1-1, your Smart911 Safety Profile displays on the 9-1-1 screen and the 9-1-1 call takers can view your addresses, medical information, home information, description of pets and vehicles, and emergency contacts, according to the county website. You can provide as much or as little information as you like.
Visit smart911.com to sign up.
Residents can also text COVIDSUFFOLK to 67283 for the latest updates from Suffolk County.