Stony Brook Southampton Hospital Has No COVID Patients For First Time Since March

Bob Chaloner, the chief administrative officer of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. File photo

Stony Brook Southampton Hospital announced on Friday that it has zero COVID-19 patients in its isolation unit for the first time since early March, after discharging a patient who had been in the hospital for 120 days, including four weeks on a ventilator.

Hospital officials said that the discharge of the last COVID-19 patient marked the first time since March 8 that the hospital has had no patients with the disease in its care.

“As of this morning, Friday, July 31, we have no confirmed COVID admitted patients in our hospital and no admitted patients under investigation for COVID-19,” said Robert Chaloner, the hospital’s chief administrator. “This is a significant milestone in our fight against the coronavirus and is a result of the excellent care provided by our medical staff and healthcare workers.”

Mr. Chaloner asked that local residents strictly follow all the state’s COVID-19 protocols on social distancing, wearing of face coverings and frequent handwashing or sanitizing to keep the spread of the virus in check.

While new cases of the virus are still surging throughout the country, and new positive cases are still being documented on the East End, New York State has seen a steady and continuous decrease in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office announced that total hospitalizations with the disease has fallen to 576 statewide, the lowest level since March 17.

The first confirmed COVID-19 person in Suffolk County — Stony Brook University doctors have since said the county’s first patient is now actually believed to have been in early February — was brought to the hospital and SBSH has treated more than 175 patients since then.

At the peak of the surge, SBSH had 55 COVID-19 patients in its care.

In response to the surge, the hospital doubled its total bed capacity an tripled the number of intensive care unit beds it has available.

The hospital resumed non-emergency medical procedures last month, but in preparation for a second potential surge in cases in the region, it has kept an extra 30 percent capacity at the ready and is in the process of expanding its own laboratory capacity so that it can process coronavirus tests more quickly.

All new patients admitted to the hospital for any reason are tested for the coronavirus, Mr. Chaloner said.