MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Coronavirus cases on Long Island now top 2,000, including Nassau County’s first police officer who tested positive.
With ramped-up public testing, Nassau County has confirmed COVID-19 in 754 total cases, while Suffolk County is up to 371 cases.
On Friday, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran also noted 32 people were hospitalized due to coronavirus, with seven in critical condition.
Across Long Island, 44 food pantries and multiple soup kitchens were forced to close their doors, with others soon expected to follow, reports CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
“Usually the older people just get swept aside,” said Peggy Sperduto of Oceanside, one among the senior citizens getting emergency help.
“Love America, America is a good country, they are putting out a hand to help you, and more people need to appreciate it and I do,” said Charles Harrison, an Army veteran and resident of Hempstead.
“We are still offering critical transportation, food and counseling services here,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
She said teams of volunteers are spreading out across Long Island to take up the slack, delivering food, taking seniors to doctors and offering mental health counseling remotely.
Santo Zaccoli of Oceanside says the kindness brought him to tears.
“I think it is a wonderful thing, whoever dreamed of it, and I am sure everybody here appreciates it,” he said.
“This is the most vulnerable part of our society right now and they are counting on their government to help them,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin.
“On any given day there’s about 259,000 Long Islanders in need, and on top of the COVID pandemic, we are going to see very shortly about a 20% increase in the number of people coming to the Emergency Food Network,” said Paule Pachter of Long Island Cares.
“With this virus, which is hurting a lot of us, we want to do our best and make sure everybody gets treated fairly, all our veterans,” said Ralph Esposito who runs Nassau’s Veteran’s Service Agency.
It’s impossible to quantify what the needs will look like in the week and months ahead.
Earlier this week, Nassau County released for the first time a map showing its COVID-19 cases by community. It will be updated daily on its website.