Suffolk County experienced a slight increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19 Monday, the second day in a row the county suffered a setback, County Executive Steve Bellone announced during his daily press briefing Tuesday afternoon.
The county had seen the number of people hospitalized drop every day for the three weeks, giving hope that there was some light at the end of the pandemic. There were 835 more people hospitalized May 4, 18 more than the previous day.
The number had gone down every day from April 16 until May 3, when it went up by four.
A decrease over 14 consecutive days is a key number the Centers for Disease Control recommended as a necessary first step in returning to business-as-usual. It is also one of the seven criteria Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined in his plan for regions to reopen.
“This is not the way we wanted to come across the finish line,” said Bellone, who nevertheless said he was confident the overall trend would still decline. “We want that downward trend to continue,” Bellone said.
Thirty-seven people were discharged in the last 24 hours, he said.
Statewide, hospitalizations have been relatively flat, Governor Andrew Cuomo said during his press conference on Tuesday morning.
The total of people in Suffolk who have tested positive for the virus grew to 38,243 people in Suffolk, at the time of Bellone’s call. As of May 2, the figures include those who had never been tested for COVID-19, but tested positive for the antibodies. The data shows that 18.1 percent of those tested for the antibodies have tested positive.
On Monday, 20 more people died from the virus in Suffolk, bringing the total number of deaths to 1296. Statewide, 25,028 people have died as of Monday.
The day after providing new details on how regions should approach reopening after his New York on PAUSE order expires on May 15, Cuomo said the fundamental question is: How much is a human life is worth?
There is a cost of staying closed, and there is a cost of reopening too quickly, he said. “Either option has a cost,” he said. “The faster we reopen, the lower the economic cost but the higher the human cost because the more lives lost. That, my friends, is the decision we are really making . . . . what is that balance? What is that tradeoff?”
“I say a human life is priceless,” he said.