Reset in important metric could help Long Island meet reopening standards sooner
Long Island could be closer to reopening because of a change made to the state's required COVID-19 metrics.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone says things are looking up when it comes to meeting metrics for reopening. There are seven metrics that must be met, part of which are the death rate and number of hospitalizations.
Both Nassau and Suffolk have failed to meet the metric of a 14-day decline in hospital deaths or fewer than five deaths over a three-day average. On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office clarified that metric was "reset" on May 15, meaning all regions can potentially meet that goal sooner than if it had dated back to the start of New York PAUSE.
"It's the death metric that we haven't met yet, and I believe that actually the death metric is a lagging indicator, it's a snapshot of where we were a few weeks ago, I think a more relevant metric is people who are entering the hospital and the number of new infections," says Nassau Executive Laura Curran.
Bellone says the "reset" should help Nassau meet the metric needed to reopen.
In Suffolk, 18 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, a slight jump from the day before. Hospitals have kept a close eye on that metric, including Northwell Health Senior Vice President and Regional Executive Director Steven Bello.
Bello remarked on his thoughts about whether Long Island will hit the 14-day decline or the fewer than five deaths.
"I think a 14-day decline is probably a more reasonable thing we can hit because it allows the overall trend to speak for themselves, especially as we start to look at larger populations, more dense populations. The concern is that there's some statistical variation that even over a one, two or three-day, you might see a little variation that doesn't indicate a trend," he said.
The other outstanding metric for Suffolk is contact tracers. The state is requiring 30 tracers per 100,000 people. Hundreds are currently being hired and trained.