Blood sample tube positive with COVID-19 or novel coronavirus 2019 found in Wuhan, China

The number of coronavirus cases on Long Island increased to 61, including 41 patients who tested positive in Nassau County and 20 in Suffolk County, New York State officials said Thursday.

Update: Long Island Coronavirus Cases Hit 79

The Nassau cases include 31 in the Town of Hempstead, six in the Town of North Hempstead, and three in the Town of Oyster Bay. Ten were hospitalized, one is in critical condition, and another is an 81-year-old woman who was in hospice at The Bristal Assisted Living at North Hills. The Suffolk cases included one in the Town of Huntington, one in the Town of Islip, two in the Town of Smithtown, four in the Town of Brookhaven, and eight in the Town of Southold. The Islip case was a West Islip elementary school teacher, school officials say.

“We will get through this, but we need your help,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, who declared the virus an imminent threat to public health. “Containing community spread is the best thing we can do to protect ourselves.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone declared a state of emergency and Curran indicated that her next step was to do the same. Cases in New York State increased to 328 and cases nationwide topped 1,300, including 37 deaths. Fourteen percent of cases in New York resulted in hospitalizations. 

The news came day after the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a pandemic and President Donald Trump issued a 30-day ban on flights from Europe starting Friday.

In addition to the confirmed cases, Nassau also had 192 people in mandatory quarantine and 82 in precautionary quarantine. Suffolk had 49 in mandatory quarantine and 76 in precautionary quarantine.

Officials again urged the public to wash their hands, use hand sanitizer, stay home if sick, and advised seniors, those with compromised immune systems, and those with underlying health issues to avoid crowds. Bellone directed St. Patrick’s Day parades scheduled for this weekend to be postponed.

Steven Krieger, a principal at The Bristal Assisted Living at North Hills, said that the facility had already stepped up its cleaning before the diagnosis and those who came in contact with its coronavirus patient have been contacted.

“We need to remind the public we’re going to get through this,” Bellone said. “We will ultimately come out in a good way and that will be done through their help and their cooperation and listening to common sense advice to avoid spreading the illness.”

Related Story: Coronavirus School Closings on Long Island

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