New York state posted a record-breaking number of coronavirus deaths for a third consecutive day even as a surge of patients in overwhelmed hospitals slowed, while isolation-weary residents were warned Thursday the crisis was far from over. Photo: AP/John Minchillo

More than 1,100 people have died of coronavirus disease on Long Island, according to data released today by the State Health Department.

Statewide, the death toll rose to 7,067.

While the number of deaths each day continues to climb, new hospitalizations for COVID-19 are declining, according to officials.

The trends in Suffolk are following those seen in New York City and indicate that the current coronavirus outbreak has reached or is reaching its peak, according to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus coverage, maps and cases by town.

Both Bellone and Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged residents to “stay the course” — stay at home and follow social distancing requirements in order to continue “flattening the curve” to beat the deadly virus.

“No, you can’t relax,” the governor said during his daily video press conference today. The state’s success in “flattening the curve” is a “direct consequence of our actions,” he said. “If we stop doing what we are doing, the curve will go up.”

Bellone had the same message today.

“We’re still very much in the thick of this,” he said in an interview with Neil Caputo on Fox Business News this afternoon. “The battle in the past week has really shifted to Suffolk County and Long Island.” Nassau and Suffolk have been one or two weeks behind New York City in this crisis, Bellone said.

“We have more cases here in Suffolk County on Long Island than any other state in the country, except New York and New Jersey,” Bellone told Caputo.

“If there’s anything that reminds us of the importance of what we are doing,” Bellone said during his press conference today, “it is seeing these numbers of fatalities rise so dramatically in this county.”

Suffolk today reported 39 new deaths, bringing the death toll in the county to 362 Suffolk residents. In all, 369 people have died of COVID-19.

In Nassau, a total of 778 people have died of the disease as of yesterday.

The total number of COVID-19 deaths on Long Island soared past 1,000 — to 1,147 people.

New York State reported a record number of COVID deaths for the third day in a row. The governor said 799 New Yorkers died of coronavirus disease yesterday, bringing the total death toll in the state to 7,067. The state needs additional funeral directors to handle the fatalities.

Deaths lag a few weeks behind hospitalizations, Cuomo said, so it makes sense that even though new hospitalizations are decreasing, deaths are still increasing.

Officials express concern that the good news about “flattening the curve” may make people let their guard down — which they say would be a big mistake.

“Don’t underestimate this virus,” Cuomo warned. “It is an effective killer,” he said.

“Wuhan and Singapore now seeing a second wave,” the governor said. “There’s a theory that this virus can mutate and change and come back,” Cuomo said.

“We’re in a battle, but this is a war.”

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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.