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

Long Island is home to a fifth of the more than 1,000 nursing home patients who succumbed to coronavirus across New York State, data shows.

Of 1,064 COVID-19 fatalities in nursing homes statewide, 21 percent — 231 — were reported on LI, with 115 in Nassau County and 116 in Suffolk County, according to the state Department of Health. By comparison, LI is home to 14 percent — 1,478  of overall coronavirus deaths statewide, which rose to 10,056 on Monday.

“Obviously nursing homes are a big concern,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “You have a group of people in one facility that are the most vulnerable. These are both elderly and people with underlying medical conditions.”

LI’s two counties had the most of any suburban county in the state. Queens had the most nursing home coronavirus deaths of any borough in New York City with 193, followed by the Bronx with 158, and Brooklyn with 136. 

Coronavirus deaths in nursing homes represented 10 percent of the total number of COVID-19 fatalities statewide. Sixty-seven percent of lives claimed were people older than 70, both in and out of nursing homes. The virus’ nursing home deaths made up 15 percent of LI’s total coronavirus death toll, which rose to 910 in Nassau and 568 in Suffolk. 

State officials, citing privacy laws, have declined to release data for specific nursing homes. At least eight patients died at Peconic Landing retirement community in Greenport, which saw some of the earliest cases in Suffolk. And at least 17 coronavirus deaths were reported at A. Holly Paterson Extended Care facility in Uniondale.

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.