For first time since mid-March, no new COVID-19 fatalities reported in Suffolk

Suffolk County reached an uplifting milestone on Friday amid the coronavirus pandemic: no fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours linked to COVID-19, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.

At least one fatality had been reported every day since March 16. Between 40-60 fatalities were reported each day in early to mid-April during the peak out of the outbreak locally.

“I’ve been waiting day after day to get to be able to get to that position,” Mr. Bellone said during his daily press conference Friday.

There have been 1,945 total fatalities in Suffolk County. The numbers of daily fatalities have been in the single digits in recent days.

“We’re in a position to see these numbers continue to decline and finally to be able to say that no one in Suffolk County in the last 24 hours has died from COVID-19, that is a great place to be,” Mr. Bellone said. “It’s a measure of the incredible progress we’ve made. It is a tribute to the men and women in our health care industry, our health care heroes who stood the line, who worked day after day in what I likened to a war zone.”

Across New York, the death toll has reached 24,495.

Mr. Bellone cautioned that “this is certainly not over, but the numbers continue to move in a positive direction.”

Long Island began Phase 2 of the NY Forward reopening plan on Wednesday, as outdoor dining resumed along with businesses like barber shops, salons and retail stores.