Slight decline in hospital capacity sets back Long Island's climb toward reopening

Long Island's fight to reopen may have just gotten a little longer after Nassau fell behind in a key state metric.
While seven of the state's 10 regions have started slowly reopening, Long Island has come up short in meeting all necessary metrics needed to begin the process.
Once at five of seven metrics, Long Island is now down to four of seven. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran says the region has taken a step back when it comes to hospital bed availability.
"We are asked to have 30% of our regions hospital beds empty. We need that 30% capacity. So we got to 29 instead of 30 yesterday," says Curran.
Another metric both Suffolk and Nassau have failed to meet is a 14-day decline in hospital deaths or fewer than five deaths when looking at a three-day average. In Suffolk, the number has continued to rise, with its death toll crossing 1,800 Thursday.
Curran says the reason the county fell back in the hospital capacity metric is because as more people are becoming more comfortable about going to hospitals for care, that people who possibly put off making visits earlier in the pandemic are now coming in.
Curran says Nassau is working with hospital executives to look for ways to meet the metric.
"Our health care system, our hospitals, have really proved that they can surge up, they can add capacity very quickly," says Curran. "So I'm looking forward to brainstorming some more and coming up with a metric system that makes more sense for our health care system here in Nassau and on Long Island."
Long Island is also currently missing the mark on the metric for contact tracers. Curran says Nassau has an aggressive strategy in recruiting an army of them and are on their way to meeting the needed number.