Three deaths reported in Orange County

Photo courtesy of Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus
Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus and other volunteers unload food and other supplies provided by ShopRite, the Kaplan Foundation and Assemblyman Colin Schmitt at the Encounter Church in Rock Tavern on Friday March 20. Since then Orange County has reported three deaths from COVID-19.

The Orange County Health Department has confirmed three deaths in the county from COVID-19.

The first death , reported Wednesday morning, was a resident over the age of 80, with multiple pre-existing medical conditions.The second and third victims were a woman over the age of 70 with multiple pre-existing medical conditions and a woman over the age of 90 with pre-existing medical conditions.

Orange County Health Commissioner, Dr. Irina Gelman, advised all residents to stay home and use delivery services when possible. Gelman urges individuals to only leave their residence for food, medical supplies or work, and noted that any public site in Orange County must be regarded as a potential exposure site.

As of Thursday, the county had 756 confirmed cases.

Image courtesy of the Orange County Health Department

New York quickly became one of the most impacted states in the nation from the novel coronavirus, since the first confirmed case on March 1. As of Thursday, New York has over 38,000 reported cases and 466 deaths.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a Thursday morning press conference that 80 percent of cases are still self-resolved, while 15 percent require hospitalization. He made it clear that New York has not reached its apex in cases yet.

Cuomo said, “Right now what we’re looking at is about 140,000 cases coming into the hospitals, the hospital capacity is 53,000 beds. That’s a problem.” He continued, “We’re looking at about 40,000 ICU cases coming into the hospitals, we have about 3,000 ICU beds. That’s a challenge.”

Federal, state and local authorities ask residents to practice social distancing in order to slow the rate of transmission and flatten the curve. Businesses across the state have been closed in order to aid in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and those at higher risk of severe symptoms are asked to stay home.

Governor Cuomo said closeness, our greatest weakness, is also our greatest strength. He applauded New Yorkers’ response to the virus by saying, “I see 6,000 mental health volunteers, I see the 40,000 healthcare workers stepping up, I see the vendors calling me saying I can help,” he continued, “we will overcome and we will show the other communities across this country how to do it.”