Greenport Superintendent David Gamberg sent a robocall message Sunday night to parents following reports that the first Suffolk County coronavirus patient had been at Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital. He said that a Suffolk County Health Department official assured him the person has “nothing to do with the school.”
The patient, who is reportedly being treated at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, according to the robocall, has been described by Suffolk County officials as a man in his early 40s. Officials have not confirmed any further details, although more information is expected Monday. The Southampton Press reported the patient at Southampton Hospital as being 42 years old and in critical but improving condition.
Mr. Gamberg’s robocall message said: “You may have read or heard that the first case of a positive coronavirus originated from [Stony Brook] Eastern Long Island Hospital. The patient was transferred to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. I spoke to a Suffolk County Department of Health nurse affiliated with the epidemiological disease control unit and she indicated the person has nothing to do with the school at this time and they’re continuing to investigate. I will continue to keep all staff and families updated with any new information that is shared with the school district in a timely manner.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said the county received confirmation of the positive COVID-19 patient Sunday morning.
“Suffolk County communicable disease professionals have begun a thorough investigation into the patient’s contacts as it is believed that this case was contracted via community transmission,” he said. “We are continuing to work closely with the New York State Department of Health to ensure a swift and effective investigation. While we continue to do all that we can to avoid a wide-spread outbreak, we are asking the public to do the same. If you are sick, stay home and contact your primary care physician to avoid spreading any illness to others.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday the number of confirmed cases in New York was 105; 82 of those cases are in Westchester. More than 110,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide since the outbreak originated in Wuhan, China in late 2019.
A County Health Department spokesperson on Sunday deferred comment to the county executive’s office. A Stony Brook Medicine spokesperson did not have any information and said the governor’s office has been the lead organization for patient announcements.