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CORONAVIRUS LONG ISLAND MARCH UPDATES AND NEWS
MARCH 31, 2020
900 drivers laid off
One of Long Island's largest school bus companies has laid off 900 drivers and workers due to school closures from the coronavirus.
Eyewitness News obtained the letter Baumann & Sons Buses, Inc., which serves 34 school districts across Long Island, sent to its workers. The letter states the company can no longer pay the workers because the school districts are not paying the company.
Suffolk County details new numbers
Suffolk County now has 6,713 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, up nearly 1,000 in last 24 hours.
There were 708 hospitalizations, with 229 patients in intensive care. Officials also reported nine additional deaths to bring the county total to 53.
MARCH 30, 2020
8th death at retirement community
Peconic Landing, a Long Island retirement community, reported the eighth death amongst their members with a confirmed case of COVID-19. The member was an 88-year-old man of The Shores for Skilled Nursing, who tested positive on March 17 and passed away on March 30 after receiving treatment for symptoms of COVID-19 at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. He was admitted on March 20 and had known pre-existing conditions.
LI food banks, pantries struggle to keep up with demand
Food banks and pantries across Long Island are struggling to keep up with demand as donations of food have stalled and more families are in need of food due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Island Harvest, based in Hauppauge, has spent more than $500,000 purchasing food in order to continue to help families. But still, food deliveries are weeks behind schedule due to the national demand for food.
Suffolk County Update
Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone said the county now has 5,791 confirmed cases, with four additional deaths to bring the total to 44.
Nassau County updates number
Executive Laura Curran on Monday announced nine additional deaths from the coronavirus to bring the county total to 48.
She said there have been nine additional deaths to bering the county total to 48.
There are 1,130 hospitalizations of people who are positive or awaiting a test, including 266 in the ICU.
MARCH 29, 2020
Latest Suffolk County info
Suffolk County reported the following confirmed cases and deaths due to COVID-19 through 2:30 p.m. Sunday:
--5,023 confirmed cases (up 885 from the 4,138 cases that were reported at 2:30 p.m. on March 28)
--502 patients are hospitalized (up 93 from March 2), 160 of those are in the intensive care unit (up 21 from March 28)
--40 deaths (up 3 from March 28)
MARCH 28, 2020
A seventh person has died at Peconic Landing retirement community. Officials say the victim received treatment for symptoms of COVID-19 at Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital since 3/14. She had known pre-existing conditions.
MARCH 27, 2020
Suffolk offers free childcare for essential workers
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone on Friday launched the Suffolk Childcare Consortium, a free childcare program for first responders, medical professionals, transit workers and where space permits, other essential workers. The new program, which provides assistance to employees on the front line working to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, will be open Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Enrollment is on a first come first serve basis and will be limited based on space and staffing. Residents with any questions regarding the Suffolk Childcare Consortium should call Suffolk 311.
More deaths in Suffolk County
Suffolk County now has 3,385 cases, 650 in the past 24 hours, with 30 fatalities. The number of hospitalizations has doubled in a three-day period to 331, with 119 in intensive care.
There have been eight additional deaths, all with underlying medical conditions. Additionally, county Executive Steve Bellone is expected to be released from mandatory quarantine on Saturday.
Cases continue to rise on Long Island
Nassau County announced it had 4,657 positive coronavirus cases, with nearly 700 people hospitalized and 194 in critical condition.
So far, 27 people have died.
Long Beach boardwalk closed
Officials closed the boardwalk because too many people have been out on nice days. Barricades went up at 9 a.m. Friday.
MARCH 26, 2020
Teachers, staff do drive-by greeting for students
Teachers and staff at Summit Lane Elementary School in Levittown made sure Thursday that their students know they are thinking about them -- from a distance.
About 46 members of the school joined the caravan driving past every one of their students' homes Thursday morning, honking their horns and waving.
MARCH 25, 2020
Students send videos to residents of assisted living facility
Students from a school on Long island are sending video messages to residents at an assisted living facility to let them know they aren't alone during the coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus cases continue to rise in both counties
Long Island has 5,545 positive coronavirus cases.
2,260 cases are in Suffolk County and 17 deaths are reported.
Nassau County is now reporting 3,285 cases of coronavirus and 7 additional deaths, bringing the county's total COVID-19 fatalities to 17.
Retirement community deaths increase
A sixth resident of the Peconic Landing retirement community in Greenport, Suffolk County died from the coronavirus. The member was an 89-year-old man who tested positive on 3/22.
MARCH 24, 2020
Calling for help
Nassau County is urging people not to call 911 when they receive a positive diagnosis of the coronavirus. Officials say many people are calling 911 for that reason, which is not appropriate.
Officials want people to know help is still available. You can call the Safe Center LI hotline 24 hours a day at 516-542-0404.
Suffolk County updates numbers
Suffolk County announced it has four new deaths Tuesday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 17.
Nassau County Police Department numbers rise
Nassau County police say 24 officers have now tested positive for COVID-19.
Nassau County numbers increase dramatically
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced Tuesday that there have been 427 new cases in the county to bring the total to 2,869. She said 70 people are hospitalized, with 14 in critical condition. So far, 10 people have died in the county from COVID-19.
The most recent death is an 85-year-old man from the Town of Oyster Bay. Testing requirements are now tighter at Jones Beach. First responders and health care workers are being given first priority.
Nassau County gathering complaints
If you hear of places being open, bars, weddings you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. There have been 200 complaints since Monday. Fines are for up to $5,000. The county has heard about weddings in backyards, bars opening up back doors, and they are investigating.
Domestic violence calls are up 10% to police.
Nassau County reopening golf courses
County golf courses will reopen this Thursday. The courses will extend space between tee times, and only one person is permitted per golf cart. At the driving ranges, only every other stall will be filled.
Medical triage tents being set up at hospital
The two medical tents Mount Sinai South Nassau's emergency department in Oceanside will deploy to expedite the separation of patients with COVID-19 symptoms from those presenting with other emergency medical issues. The tents are being erected Tuesday. The tents will be equipped with basic emergency medical equipment for assessment and appropriate triage of patients.
District Attorney Tim Sini tests positive
Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini has the coronavirus and is working remotely under self quarantine without any symptoms, officials announced Tuesday.
Call for Medical Supplies
Nassau County officials announced a medical supply drive as hospitals were in short supply of masks, wipes, and gloves.
5th death at LI retirement community's medical center
Peconic Landing has received notification of a fifth death amongst our members in connection with COVID-19. The member was an 88-year-old man and resident of Harbor North for Assisted Living, diagnosed on March 22 while being hospitalized for symptoms of the virus. The member did have known preexisting conditions.
Nassau County deaths
Two more deaths were announced by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran Monday, bringing the total to 9 deaths. Curran said the deceased are a 51-year-old and 84-year-old from Hempstead, both whom had underlying health conditions. 52 people have been hospitalized due to the coronavirus and 11 are in critical condition, Curran added.
Suez urges people not to flush wipes
Suez North America is urging all residents throughout its service territories to reject the label on so-called "flushable wipes" or other wipes and dispose of them in the garbage. Officials say they are clogging sewer systems, and blockages caused by wipes force utility workers to remove them in confined places -- and many times this must be done by hand, which is dangerous and costly.
LIRR takes more precautionary actions
All Long Island Rail Road ticket offices will be shut down for precautionary reasons because of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
MARCH 21, 2020
Additional death, positive case at LI retirement community
Peconic Landing, a care retirement community on Greenport, Long Island, announced the death of a fourth member Friday evening in connection with COVID-19. The member was an 89-year-old woman who has been on hospice in the Shores for Skilled nursing for the last several months. She was located in the Peconic Landing community's medical health center. Two more residents of the health center have tested positive, bringing the number of positive cases to 14.
MARCH 20, 2020
Suffolk County numbers
Out of the 459 positive cases of COVID-19, 50 cases are people in their 20s, 50 cases are people in their 30s, most cases are people in their 40s and 50s. 1,439 people in the county have been laid off and more than 900 furloughed.
Retirement Community Deaths
Three residents of a Long Island retirement community have died from the coronavirus. They lived at Peconic Landing in Greenport.
MARCH 19, 2020
How Long Island's largest school district is coping
The Brentwood School District has more than 20,000 students and is New York State's largest suburban school district. Approximately 85% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch and the district distributes approximately 21,000 meals every day. In the wake of school closures due to the coronavirus, school staff has been distributing thousands of meals every day to students across 10 district sites.
Suffolk County worried about hospital bed shortage
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is concerned about the county's ability to deal with a surge in coronavirus patients amid the COVID-19 outbreak, with numbers spiking daily.
Bellone said Thursday out of the 2,600 hospital beds in the county, just 479 are available right now -- and only 74 ICU beds are available.
"The question is not what beds are available right now, really, it's a question of what's going to be needed three, four, five weeks from now when this virus reaches its peak," he said.
Belmont worker tests positive, NYRA suspends live racing at Aqueduct Racetrack
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced that live racing at Aqueduct Racetrack will be suspended until further noticeafter one of their staff members who lives and works at Belmont park tested positive Thursday for the coronavirus. The NYRA reported that a backstretch worker has been quarantined since developing symptoms the morning of March 13. His roommate was also quarantined at that time.
Kohl's closing stores over COVID-19
Kohl's will be closing all of its stores temporarily at effective 7 p.m. local time on Thursday. The stores will be shuttered through at least April 1. Store associates will get two weeks of pay after the closure. The website and app will continue to operate, and purchases can be made there for home delivery.
Nassau County announces third coronavirus death
Nassau County officials reported during a news conference a total of 293 confirmed COVID-19 cases, up 15 from Wednesday, and a third death in the county. The third person who died was a 76-year-old woman who resided in Hempstead. She has not been identified.
County officials also urged residents to be careful about receiving phone scams during this time of crisis. Officials stated that they have seen a 49% increase since the start of the outbreak.
LI seniors receive food donations while practicing social distancing
While supermarkets across the country have seen empty shelves and concerned customers during the coronavirus pandemic, the non-profit food bank Long Island Cares, Inc. continues to provide emergency food to people in need.
The group estimates that approximately 54,000 seniors living in Nassau and Suffolk Counties experience food insecurity and rely upon the emergency food network for ongoing support.
Long Island Rail Road suspends cash payments
LIRR has suspended cash payments at ticket counters and on trains. It's the latest move to help stop the spread of COVID-19. There are now 152 cases in Suffolk, along with 278 in Nassau County to bring the total to 430 cases on Long Island. LIRR will no longer accept cash payments at ticket counters and on trains.
MARCH 18, 2020
Parents adjust to working at home and homeschooling
As more schools across the country close, parents are struggling to balance working from home while at the same time managing their children's homeschooling.
"It's not natural to know how to teach if you haven't been trained in it," said Nassau County mom, Arey Ana. "I think it's balanced, I think that it is a really good time to spend quality time with your kids, go outside. I wouldn't say go to any place else, but go outside and get that physical activity in, but also set up blocks."
Remote learning will begin March 23, the system is now working to find computers and provide Internet access for those households that lack the services. Grab-and-go meals will also be available at the schools for children.
Coronavirus testing begins at Stony Brook University
Suffolk County residents can now get tested for COVID-19 at Stony Brook University after a free drive-thru coronavirus testing facility opened Wednesday.
The mobile testing site features six lanes to accommodate up to 1,000 tests per day and will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m
If you wish to be tested, call the State of New York Coronavirus Hotline 24/7 at 1-888-364-3065 to make an appointment.
Nassau County speaks out on mental health
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow, many people are feeling a lot of anxiety. Mental health experts say they have seen an increase in people asking for help dealing with the crisis.
Nassau County officials said Wednesday they are noticing more people dealing with anxiety.
Some advice for anxiety and stress includes try to set a schedule or routine, talk to each other, check in on each other, perform acts of kindness and exercise.
LIRR stops accepting cash
The LIRR announced Wednesday it will no long accept cash payments at ticket counters or on board trains to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
They will continue to run regular weekday service, but advised those who don't need to travel to stay home.
They are also continuing to disinfect their stations twice a day and cycle through their fleet of cars every 72 hours.
Suffolk County reports 'dramatic increase' in coronavirus cases
Suffolk County officials reported a "dramatic jump" in COVID-19 cases, bringing the county total to 152 positive tests.
Huntington now has the most cases on Long Island, with 43. There are also 33 cases in Southold, 20 in Brookhaven, and 17 in Babylon.
Cases rise in Nassau County
There are 278 total cases in Nassau County, a surge of 142 since Tuesday, County Executive Laura Curran announced on Wednesday morning. An update on the spread in Suffolk County has not been released.
As of Tuesday, four deaths have been confirmed on Long Island.
Nassau County announced its first death from the coronavirus on Tuesday, a 96-year-old man at Mercy Hospital. Suffolk County has had its third fatality from the virus, a woman in her 90s who was being treated at Huntington Hospital.
MARCH 17, 2020
Suffolk County has 3rd coronavirus death
A total of 97 residents, including three who have died, have tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus in Suffolk County.
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. Shelter Island is the only Suffolk town with no confirmed cases.
Nassau County reports first death from the coronavirus
A 96-year-old man at Mercy Hospital in Nassay County has died from COVID-19, officials said.
There are a total of 131 cases, with 24 newly confirmed. The total cases on Long Island now stand at 215.
Long Island inmate put in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19
An inmate at a Long Island jail has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Officials say they are trying to go back through the contact the inmate had with other inmates and staff members at the Nassau County jail in East Meadow.
MARCH 16, 2020
Suffolk County confirms two deaths
Suffolk County has had two deaths from the virus.
A man in his 80s died at St. Catherine's Medical Center, while another man in his 90s passed away at Huntington Hospital.
84 total cases are reported in the county.
The Suffolk County Department of Health is allowing people to make appointments at their Suffolk mobile testing site NOW. The testing site is still being determined but is expected to come online later this week. Suffolk County residents who want to make an appointment for the test can call now and they will be triaged by a nurse. Residents can make appointments by calling 1-888-364-3065.
Long Island closes schools for 2 weeks as cases rise
Nassau and Suffolk County officials closed all public and private schools for the next two weeks.
Administrators and teachers can still use school B school buildings for distance-based learning, as well as distribution of grab and go lunches.
MARCH 12, 2020
Eyewitness News gets inside look at company hired to clean after COVID-19 diagnoses
If the coronavirus is the enemy, Doug Baruchin and his workers at disinfecting company, ITS Environmental Services, based out of Holtsville, are on the front lines of the battle.
Reporter recounts journey through packed Long Island stores to buy supplies during coronavirus outbreak
Long Island shoppers braved the crowds and chaos to gather supplies in preparation for the inevitable spread of the novel coronavirus.
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