Suffolk County today reported the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in one day since the outbreak of the virus began here last month.

County Executive Steve Bellone announced during a press briefing this afternoon that 28 people had died in Suffolk since his last report yesterday afternoon, when he reported 12 deaths.

The death toll reported by the county executive today set a grim record, Bellone noted. The number of deaths reported daily has been increasing from week to week. The previous one-day high — 16 deaths — was reported on April 1.

The county executive has stopped providing details about the individual victims during his daily press briefing. Instead the information as to the victims’ age and gender are now being posted on the county’s website.

The total number of deaths reported in Suffolk to date stands at 124, Bellone said.

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Earlier today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there were 630 new deaths in the state since yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 3,565.

Downstate New York has been hardest hit. There have been 2,630 COVID deaths in New York City, Cuomo said today.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran reported today Nassau has had a total of 149 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the outbreak.

Bellone this afternoon also reported that the county, which has delivered more than a million pieces of personal protective equipment to hospitals and first responders, is now “down to zero.”

“This is a national emergency,” Bellone said. “We need that national response.”

The county currently has at total of 1,426 hospitalizations for COVID-19, Bellone said, with 427 COVID patients in ICU beds. There were 72 ICU beds available in Suffolk as of Bellone’s 2 p.m. briefing.

The governor said today the state does not have enough ventilators to treat the anticipated number of people who will need the in the next few weeks, as the number of COVID cases reaches the anticipated peak of the outbreak in New York. Ventilators are needed to sustain COVID-19 patients as their bodies fight off the virus. Cuomo has said about 20% of COVID patients will require hospitalization and a smaller percentage require ventilators to survive.

The state ordered 17,000 ventilators from a distributor in China, Cuomo said, but has been advised it will only receive 2,500 of them.

Cuomo said the state will be pulling 20% of unused ventilators from hospitals upstate and shipping them to downstate hospitals. That number should be about 500, the governor said. In addition, the state is getting a donation of 1,000 ventilators from China, facilitated bu the Chinese government, he said.

Also, the state has gotten a donation of 140 ventilators from Oregon, Cuomo said.

The governor today likened the outbreak downstate to “a fire.” The fire is spreading east on Long Island, he said.

“The number on Long Island has been growing steadily for the past 10 days,” he said. The number of cases on Long Island has steadily been growing in relation to the case in the rest of the state — even in New York City, he said.

The total number of confirmed cases in Suffolk rose today to 12.189, according to data provided by the county. There were a total of 139 cases in the Town of Riverhead.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.