Long Island Reports First Coronavirus Deaths, Suffolk County Executive Is Self-Isolating

Sophia Hall
March 16, 2020 - 7:44 pm
Laura Curran, Steve Bellone

@NassauExecutive via Twitter

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Two older men have become the first to die from coronavirus on Long Island.

One man was in his 80s and had been hospitalized in isolation at St, Catherine's Hospital.

The other was in his 90s and had been in isolation at Huntingon Hospital.

Meanwhile, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is self-isolating at home after Deputy County Executive Peter Scully tested positive for COVID-19.

"I am happy to report that Peter is doing well, he has not had all the classic symptoms of coronavirus," Bellone said on a conference call with reporters. "Although I was not in close contact with Peter so I'm not under mandatory quarrantine, I was in close contact with members of the team who are currently under mandatory quarrantine. So out of an abundance of caution I've been directing our response to the coronavirus outbreak from our home office."

Suffolk County's new health commissioner, who has only been on the job for a few weeks, is under a mandatory quarrantine because he had close contact with Scully.

But the health commissioner said he's feeling fine with no symptoms.

In neighboring Nassau County, there's a plan to get more residents tested. 

County Executive Laura Curran says the goal is to test 6,000 residents per day.

"We're working towards outside testing pods with tents, drive through testing sites. That will help us achieve if not exceed that testing margin," Curran said.

During her daily coronavirus briefing, Curran announced an inmate at the jail has tested positive for the virus. 

"The Department of Health has identified staff and other inmates who may have been exposed," Curran said.

She says the office of emergency management in bethpage has been handing out supplies to first responders like face masks and sanitizing wipes.

"The most important phrase right now is flattening the curve, flattening the curve. What does that mean? We know, we expect the numbers to increase. We want them to increase at a lesser amount so that the curve doesn't go all the way up. So that it's flatter. This is where we need the community's help," Curran said.

Officials have said the best way to do that is by social distancing.