Speaking Saturday afternoon, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran reported 11 new deaths overnight of the coronavirus, bringing the total number to 149.
That number, she said, contradicted a state report that indicated 396 people had died in Nassau. The county Department of Health was working with local hosptial officials to quantify the exact number, she said.
County officials were also checking whether all of the people reported dead by the state actually lived in Nassau or a surrounding area.
As of Saturday morning, the state Department of Health was reporting 13,346 people had tested positive for Covid-19 in Nassau. Many of those cases, the county executive said, have resolved, though she did not give an exact number.
"We are in the heat of battle now," Curran said.
Some 355 patients were reportedly on ventilators to enable their breathing, Curran said. That figure was up 31 people from the day before, she said.
On a positive note, she said, 171 people were released from the hosptial. More than a thousand are now hospitalized countywide.
The county, Curran said, has ordered a hundred ventilators. To date, she said, it has received five, adding, "We're going to get more soon."
In all, 788 Nassau residents have been hospitalized because of the coronavirus and released since the outbreak began in New York a month ago.
"We're all on the frontlines here," Curran said, stressing the need for social distancing — standing six feet apart from one another — to stop the spread of the virus.
Nassau is continuing its medical supply drive, but at Nassau County Police headquarters, 1490 Franklin Avenue in Mineola. Previously, it had been at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.
A temporary U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hospital is expected to be set up at SUNY Old Westubry by the end of the week, according to the county executive. She is asking that it become a Covid-19 only facility to relieve pressure from the county's hospitals.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that people wear facemasks in public, Curran said. Directions on how to make homemade masks can be found at cdc.gov.