Featured Story

Bellone: Businesses report thousands of disrupted jobs, seven county residents dead from the coronavirus

At least 2,380 jobs have been disrupted as the spread of COVID-19 has reached 459 confirmed cases, county officials said in a conference call Friday. Seven county residents have died from the virus, including four in the past 24 hours, County Executive Steve Bellone said.

Three of the new cases were from Peconic Landing in Greenport, Mr. Bellone said, and the fourth has not been identified pending notification of next of kin.

The number of tests in the county has eclipsed 2,000, according to county health commissioner Gregson Pigott, M.D.

The county did not provide an updated number of positive cases by town during Friday’s briefing, but said they would be giving a breakdown later Friday that would also include age groups of the individuals affected. Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said that as of 7:50 p.m., the number of confirmed cases in Southold was 64, according to the county health department.

Here are some of the key details from Friday’s call:

• Suffolk County Labor Commissioner Rosalie Drago said that of 396 businesses surveyed so far, 1,439 workers have been laid off since the pandemic struck the county last week. An additional 958 employees of surveyed businesses have been furloughed, meaning their jobs would be held open for them .

• A Suffolk County Highway Patrol officer tested positive for the coronavirus, the department’s first confirmed case. He was identified only as a male in his 50s who lives in Nassau County.

• The county is keeping its parks open but has closed all playgrounds within those parks following reports of groups of children playing together despite requests for social distancing.

“We’ve found it’s very difficult to keep kids apart on those playgrounds,” Mr. Bellone said.

Dog parks have also been closed.

• Mr. Bellone highlighted several major retailers who are hosting senior shopping hours. On Shelter Isand the IGA is open for senior citizen shopping daily from 7 to 9 a.m. Stores in Riverhead include Stop & Shop daily from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., Walmart from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Wednesdays and Target from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

• Mr. Bellone is now under mandatory quarantine as his chief deputy county executive and other staffers have tested positive for the virus.