MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Concern is growing on Long Island, where there’s been a surge in coronavirus cases.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo described the growing number of coronavirus cases on Long Island “like a fire spreading.”

He says Long Island now accounts for 22% of all hospitalizations in the state of New York, CBS2’s Christina Fan reports.


Even though Westchester County had the first major cluster of cases in the state, data shows instead of moving north, the virus is moving east.

When asked on Saturday if the growth on Long Island was a result of New York City residents fleeing there for safety, the governor said, “I don’t think we know.”

“At one point, the fire, it doesn’t max out in one place, but it consumes where it is and then it’s moving out. You look at where it’s moving, you see that Long Island number is growing. I mean, it’s been growing for the past 10 days, right,” Cuomo said.

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Nassau County leaders say they are working with the state to secure more resources as they brace for their apex in about a week.

Officials are pushing for the temporary hospital at SUNY Old Westbury opening soon to take COVID-19 patients.

Watch: Nassau County Exec Laura Curran On COVID-19 On Long Island

In Suffolk County, officials are also scrambling to create more room for patients.

“Hospital capacity has increased and will continue to increase as the new beds come online, like Stony Brook University, the hospital that’s being built in real time,” Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone said.

The governor says there are glimmers of hope in this prolonged battle.

The state just received a shipment of 1,000 ventilators and millions of masks at JFK Airport, donated by wealthy Chinese benefactors, including Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai.

The help doesn’t end there. The state of Oregon is also sending 140 ventilators.

One number the governor is happy to see go up is the number of discharged patients. So far, two-thirds of the people who have been hospitalized have been allowed to go home.


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