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Coronavirus Updates

In an effort to consolidate our information, we've created a page just for Coronavirus updates that are important to our community. We will continue to update this page with any news we receive. To be notified of updates, be sure to sign up for our email list and visit our Facebook page.

 


 

March 31st at 5:45pm
Brookhaven Town Reschedules 2020 Paper Shredding, E-Waste and Prescription Drug Take Back Events 

In an abundance of caution related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Brookhaven has rescheduled the 2020 spring recycling events to the summer. These popular annual events include paper shredding, e-waste disposal and prescription drug take back in every Brookhaven Council District. The fall dates were not postponed and will take place as originally scheduled. The events will help residents dispose of sensitive documents, e-waste and expired prescription drugs in an environmentally safe manner. These recycling events are open to all Brookhaven Town residents and small businesses. For more information, call 451-TOWN (8696) or visit www.brookhavenny.gov/recyclingevents. The new schedule of 2020 recycling events is as follows:

CD-4 Councilman Michael Loguercio
Saturday, June 20, 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Longwood Middle School, 41 Yaphank Middle Island Road, Middle Island

CD-5 Councilman Neil Foley
Saturday, September 19, 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Patchogue-Medford High School, 181 Buffalo Avenue, Medford

CD-4 Councilman Michael Loguercio
Saturday, November 7, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
South Country Public Library, 22 Station Road, Bellport

 

March 31st at 3:30pm
Bellport Village Election Update 

We just heard from Bellport Village Deputy Clerk, Katie Mehrkens, about this year’s Bellport Village Elections in June. Normally, today, March 31, 2020, would have been the first day to start collecting signatures for those wanting to run for office on June 16, 2020, but because of the COVID-19 crisis, all of the dates leading up to the elections have been put on hold until further notice. We’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we get more information.

 

An Update From Brookhaven Town Supervisor, Ed Romaine 
"The most important thing we can do as a community is to continue to shelter in place, practice social distancing and regularly wash our hands to prevent the spread of this virus. Governor Cuomo has already cited this as the reason why the trajectory of new cases seems to be slowing from earlier projections. If we all do our part, we can prevent its spread. Unless a trip is absolutely necessary, please stay home.

In addition, please be aware of an increase in online fraud schemes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The FBI warns of fake CDC emails as well as “phishing” emails that ask people to verify personal information to receive economic stimulus checks, receive refund checks, fake testing kits, cures or vaccines, receive financial relief or make charitable contributions. Please see the FBI warning posted on our website.

Brookhaven Town continues to operate, with a number of modifications put in place to ensure the health and safety of our residents and staff. Most departments are operating by email, phone conferences and through drop-off facilities located in our lobby. Our contact center continues to operate Monday-Friday from 9am – 4:30 pm to answer any questions you may have at 631-451-TOWN.

Brookhaven workers are continuing to assist our seniors and most vulnerable population during this crisis, delivering meals to homebound seniors and partnering with non-profit agencies to deliver food and other necessary items.

I hope you find the below information useful, and that your family remains safe and healthy.

BROOKHAVEN TOWN

Parks and Recreation – While all parks are open, the following are closed until further notice:
• playgrounds
• basketball courts
• tennis courts
• pickleball courts
• handball courts
• volleyball courts

The following departments are operating via phone, on-line or drop-off only of documents in the Town Hall Lobby:
• Building
• Planning
• Board of Zoning Appeals
• Assessor
• Parking Violations
• Fire Prevention

Brookhaven Town Clerk – The office is closed to the public. The only services that will be provided in person are marriage licenses and the filing of death certificates by licensed funeral directors. These services will be provided by appointment only. Please call 631-451-6920 for an appointment. All other requests should be completed by mail or online.

Parking Violations - Hearings scheduled for March and April have been postponed. Anyone scheduled to appear on these dates will be notified by mail of a new hearing date.

Animal Shelter - Closed to the public until April 1st, 2020. Those still interested in adoption, foster care and questions on redemption are asked to call the Shelter during business hours at 631-451-6950 - Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm.

COVID-19 UPDATED INFORMATION:
• New York has increased its testing capacity to 16,000 test per day.
• 30,000 retired doctors and healthcare workers have volunteered to support COVID 19 healthcare service needs.
• Suffolk County is predicting a peak in confirmed cases in 21 days from 3/25/20
• LIRR – Reduced their service schedule starting 3/26/20 by approximately 65%
• The food industry reports there are no interruptions in the food supply chain.
• Many food markets/stores are implementing designated shopping hours for seniors to encourage social distancing.
• Vendors reported for price gouging are being forwarded for potential investigation.

CDC RECOMMENDATIONS:
• The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure: Fever, cough, shortness of breath.
• Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to the doctor’s office or emergency room.
• Avoid close contact with others.
• Clean your hands often.
• Stay at home if you are sick.
• Clean & Disinfect for US Households with Suspected/Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019.
For more information, please go to their Coronavirus Web page.

TESTING:
• New York State has established a phone number for testing appointments in the drive-thru test site 1-888-364-3065.
• The Suffolk County Drive-Thru testing/swabbing site at Stony Brook is open from 7AM-7PM, 7 days/week. No walks up; by appointment only.
• To date, 8,453 tests have been completed

DONATIONS OF MEDICAL SUPPLIES:
• Suffolk County is seeking donations of N-95 surgical masks, gloves and other medical supplies for hospital and emergency workers. Donations can be brought to the Suffolk County Fire Academy on Yaphank Ave. in Yaphank, or you can send an email regarding items to donate to Supply19@suffolkcountyny.gov 

New York State (NYS) is seeking the items below. Visit the NYS website to learn more.
• Qualified Health Professionals
• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves, masks and gowns
• Companies to manufacture new products
• Donations of Goods, Services, and Space

 

March 30th at 8:45pm

Reported COVID-19 Cases in the Town of Brookhaven 
As we already mentioned yesterday, the information regarding COVID-19 cases in Bellport Village, North Bellport, Brookhaven, and East Patchogue is no longer available. However, the numbers for the Town of Brookhaven are still available so we’re going to start publishing them here. The significant thing to keep an eye on isn’t an absolute number. Instead it’s the rate of change over time. For instance, in the numbers below, for the seven day period from 3/23 to 3/30, the reported number of cases went from 179 to 671.

From Suffolk County: Number of Reported COVID-19 Cases in the Town of Brookhaven:

Date Number of Reported Cases to Date
3/23 179
3/24 249
3/25 330
3/26 398
3/27 452
3/28 517
3/29 605
3/30 671

 

The Latest From Governor Cuomo... 
"The fight against Coronavirus is a war. On the frontline of this battle is the healthcare system. The fight will take place in hospitals across New York City, across the state and across this nation. So our strategy is clear: don't let the hospital system get overwhelmed. The doctors, the nurses, the people working in the hospitals are the troops who are fighting this battle for us. So right now, we need to support our troops — our healthcare professionals. We need to deliver every supply, every piece of equipment that they need. That is our responsibility. And that's what New York State is working so hard to do.

Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. Today, New York welcomed the arrival of the US Naval Ship Comfort to New York Harbor. We knew from the very beginning of this crisis that hospital capacity was critical. We asked and the federal government answered. This ship will provide 1,000 additional hospital beds, 1,200 personnel and is a major step forward in our fight against Coronavirus.

2. We have developed a statewide public-private hospital plan to fight COVID-19. It's unfair for some hospitals to bear the brunt of this pandemic while other hospitals are less impacted. I'm glad that public and private hospitals across the state have agreed to implement a new balanced approach to fighting the virus where hospitals that are beginning to reach or exceed capacity can transfer patients to other hospitals that are not as full. Hospitals across the state have also agreed to share staff and supplies. This is necessary to save lives and keep our healthcare system functional.

3. The first temporary hospital at the Javits Center is officially open. The 1,000-bed site is accepting its first patients today. The temporary hospital was constructed in just one week — an incredible achievement.

4. New York needs relief for our nurses and doctors. I'm asking healthcare workers across the country to come and help New York if they are able. We will return the favor in your hour of need. Healthcare professionals can sign up here: http://health.ny.gov/assistance.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Today is National Doctors' Day. To all the doctors and healthcare professionals putting your lives on the line to fight this virus, we thank you. You make New York proud."

 

Bellport Country Club Free Meals 
Thanks to the great response last week, the wonderful people at the Bellport Country Club are repeating their Free Meals program this Friday, April 3rd, between 12:30 and 3pm. This time, the FREE meals will be limited to the first 80 families. You don’t have to call or email ahead; simply show up at the Country Club between 12:30 and 3pm on Friday.

Now, to offset the cost of the Free Meal program, the Country Club will also be offering a special, Half Tray, menu for sale. Each Half Tray provides about 10 servings. If you'd like to order any of the below, give them a call at 631-286-4227 or email them at catering@bellportcc.com.

Half Trays Available (Serves 10):
• Caesar Salad Kit - $35
• Steamed Green Beans - $28
• Salmon w/ Lobster Cream & Fresh Lemon Dill - $64
• Chicken Francaise, Parmesan, or Grilled - $65
• Beef Burgundy - $72
• Penne alla Vodka - $39
• Roasted Potatoes - $26
• Rice - $26
• Mac and Cheese - $35

 

Emergency Contact Info 
You probably haven’t noticed it, but at the top of the column that runs down the left edge of most Bellport.com pages, you’ll see a “RED” button that says, “Emergency Info.” If you click it, you’ll be taken to a page with all kinds of contact information that might come in handy. In particular, please notice the Non-Emergency phone number for the Police Department, 631-852-2677, rather than 911.

 

Brookhaven Town Trash, Garbage and Bulk Item Pick-up Rules (This does not apply to Bellport Village) 
The Town of Brookhaven’s Department of Recycling and Sustainable Materials Management is committed to providing the highest quality service during these difficult times. While residents may be using their time to clean and remove clutter and bulk items from their homes, they must be mindful and considerate of the pickup rules and requirements in place. Our trash and recyclable collectors are working hard to provide an essential service that is a sanitary benefit to our Brookhaven communities. They are also following the recommended guidelines to stay safe and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. For details, visit www.BrookhavenNY.gov/ThrowingItOut and refer to the “What Is My Carter Required To Do” section of the “Throwing It Out In Brookhaven” guide. The Brookhaven Town Landfill is open for Residential Drop-off Monday to Friday 7:00 am to 3:00 pm and Saturday 7:00 am to 12:00 noon. Call 631-451-TOWN (8696) for more information.

 

Costco Hours of Operation 
Beginning Monday, March 30, U.S. Costco locations will temporarily implement new weekday closing hours. Costco warehouses will close at 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Gas stations will close at 7pm. Weekend hours will not change. For specific hours, find a Costco warehouse near you.

 

March 29th at 8:15pm
Suffolk County Dept. of Information Technology 

The SCDIT seems to have just stopped publishing COVID-19 information for our area so we weren’t able to get numbers for March 29, 2020. We’re going to try to contact them tomorrow and see if there’s another way we can get this information. We’ll let you know what the outcome is. If, in the meantime, any of our readers have found a way to get these numbers for Bellport Village, North Bellport, Brookhaven, and East Patchogue, please let us know. You can email me at Larry@Bellport.com


The Latest From Governor Cuomo... 
"I want to share something President Franklin D. Roosevelt once observed. He said: "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear." These words could not be more apt than when applied to our first responders and healthcare professionals who daily put their lives at risk on behalf of all of us. Like many New Yorkers, they are worried about their own health. But they place service above fear. That's courage. And New York is deeply thankful.

Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. New York State will stay on PAUSE through April 15th. That means the non-essential workforce is directed to continue to work from home until at least April 15th. We will re-evaluate every two weeks.

2. A new drive-thru COVID-19 testing center will open Monday in Co-Op City in the Bronx. Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, Senator Jamaal T. Bailey, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and I today announced a new mobile testing center located in the parking lot of the Bay Plaza AMC Theater. Residents who would like to be tested MUST make an appointment by calling 888-364-3065. Priority will go to higher-risk individuals.

3. We mourn the loss of New Yorkers who died on the front line in the fight against Coronavirus. We are heartbroken by the deaths of NYPD Detective Cedric Dixon, a 23-year veteran in the 32nd Precinct, and Kious Kelly, an assistant nurse manager at Mount Sinai West Hospital. Any life lost to this virus is tragic, but when the heroes who are working to protect the lives of others are taken, it hits especially hard. We can't thank our healthcare professionals and first responders enough for their selflessness and bravery.

4. Pharmacies will now offer free home delivery to New Yorkers. After speaking with the state's major pharmacy chains, pharmacies have agreed to offer free home delivery to help reduce long lines for prescriptions at their facilities.

5. The State's Wadsworth Lab has developed a less intrusive COVID-19 test that will begin within a week. The new test is done through a saliva sample and a self-administered short nasal swab in the presence of a healthcare professional. The test will help conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, reduce potential exposure of the virus and allow the state to continue to test as many individuals as possible.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Self-isolation is hard, but the companionship of pets makes it easier. According to reports, animal shelters across the United States are receiving a surge of applications to foster or adopt pets due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

 

March 29th at 2:15pm
South Country Library Closed Until Further Notice 

The South Country Library will remain closed until further notice.

All April Programs Cancelled: All April programs and meetings are cancelled through the end of April, regardless of when they re-open. This is in accordance with the prevailing approach of health and governmental officials that we can all help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus by limiting exposure.

Returns: Their book drop is closed. There will be no accrual of fines on any items currently checked out to hang on to them until they are able to re-open.

Reserved Items: Any items on the reserve shelf will be waiting for you when they re-open.

Library Card Renewals: Any library card that was due to expire in March or April will automatically be renewed until June 1st (allowing for continued use of their online services).

Online Resources: In addition to their downloadables and streaming services they are continuing to seek out new ways to provide library services online to our community, including educational offerings for children while schools are closed.

Stay in Touch with the Library: Feel free to reach out with questions or comments to the library at sctyref@sctylib.org
 or visit their website or Facebook page.

 

Reported Cases of COVID-19 by the Suffolk County Dept. of Information Technology - Updated on March 28th at 8:15pm

Date Bellport Village North Bellport Brookhaven East Patchogue
3/26 1 5 3 13
3/27 1 8 4 16
3/28 1 13 4 18

 

March 28th at 8:15pm
The Latest From Governor Cuomo... 

"Every emergency situation is unique. The needs presented are always different. In this case, the unexpected need is for ventilators. Our projections show that we need more ventilators and I will do everything in my power to make sure that we secure these critical supplies.

Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. I'm moving New York's presidential primary to June 23rd. I'm issuing an Executive Order to move the presidential primary election from April 28 to June 23rd, aligning it with the congressional and legislative primaries in New York. Public health is our number one priority and we will carry out this vital democratic process at a safer date.

2. I will sign an Executive Order making it clear that in no hospital in the state will a woman be forced to be alone when she gives birth. Hospitals will not be able to prevent a woman from having one companion present during childbirth at the hospital because of Coronavirus concerns. No woman should have to labor alone.

3. The state will dedicate specific hospital facilities as COVID-patient only. The state has identified three sites — South Beach Psychiatric Facility in Staten Island, Westchester Square in the Bronx and SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn — that will provide more than 600 beds specifically for COVID-19 patients.

4. The federal government has approved four new sites for temporary hospitals to be built by the Army Corps of Engineers. The sites — the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the Aqueduct Racetrack facility in Queens, CUNY Staten Island and the New York Expo Center in the Bronx — will add an additional 4,000 beds to the state's capacity.

5. All non-essential construction must be suspended. Essential construction, for example construction on roads, bridges, transit facilities, homeless shelters and health care facilities, may continue. For more details, see this guidance.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": New Yorkers have found compassionate ways, including running errands on behalf of vulnerable neighbors, to support our community and keep spirits high. Even in tough times, New Yorkers look out for one another. "

 

March 28th at 1:00pm
A Sobering Assessment of How We’re Dealing with COVID-19

From Political Cortadito: Jonathan Smith, an award-winning lecturer in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases and Global Health at Yale University School of Public Health, explains why social distancing is our #1 weapon against COVID-19.

"Hey everybody, as an infectious disease epidemiologist, at this point feel morally obligated to provide some information on what we are seeing from a transmission dynamic perspective and how they apply to the social distancing measures. Like any good scientist I have noticed two things that are either not articulated or not present in the "literature" of social media.

Specifically, I want to make two aspects of these measures very clear and unambiguous.

First, we are in the very infancy of this epidemic's trajectory. That means even with these measures we will see cases and deaths continue to rise globally, nationally, and in our own communities in the coming weeks. Our hospitals will be overwhelmed, and people will die that didn't have to. This may lead some people to think that the social distancing measures are not working. They are. They may feel futile. They aren't. You will feel discouraged. You should. This is normal in chaos. But this is also normal epidemic trajectory. Stay calm. This enemy that we are facing is very good at what it does; we are not failing. We need everyone to hold the line as the epidemic inevitably gets worse. This is not my opinion; this is the unforgiving math of epidemics for which I and my colleagues have dedicated our lives to understanding with great nuance, and this disease is no exception. We know what will happen; I want to help the community brace for this impact. Stay strong and with solidarity knowing with absolute certainty that what you are doing is saving lives, even as people begin getting sick and dying. You may feel like giving in. Don't.

Second, although social distancing measures have been (at least temporarily) well-received, there is an obvious-but-overlooked phenomenon when considering groups (i.e. families) in transmission dynamics. While social distancing decreases contact with members of society, it of course increases your contacts with group (i.e. family) members. This small and obvious fact has surprisingly profound implications on disease transmission dynamics. Study after study demonstrates that even if there is only a little bit of connection between groups (i.e. social dinners, playdates/playgrounds, etc.), the epidemic trajectory isn't much different than if there was no measure in place. The same underlying fundamentals of disease transmission apply, and the result is that the community is left with all of the social and economic disruption but very little public health benefit. You should perceive your entire family to function as a single individual unit; if one person puts themselves at risk, everyone in the unit is at risk. Seemingly small social chains get large and complex with alarming speed. If your son visits his girlfriend, and you later sneak over for coffee with a neighbor, your neighbor is now connected to the infected office worker that your son's girlfriend's mother shook hands with. This sounds silly, it's not. This is not a joke or a hypothetical. We as epidemiologists see it borne out in the data time and time again and no one listens. Conversely, any break in that chain breaks disease
transmission along that chain.

In contrast to hand-washing and other personal measures, social distancing measures are not about individuals, they are about societies working in unison. These measures also take a long time to see the results. It is hard (even for me) to conceptualize how 'one quick little get together' can undermine the entire framework of a public health intervention, but it does. I promise you it does. I promise. I promise. I promise. You can't cheat it. People are already itching to cheat on the social distancing precautions just a "little"- a playdate, a haircut, or picking up a needless item at the store, etc. From a transmission dynamics standpoint, this very quickly recreates a highly connected social network that undermines all of the work the community has done so far.

Until we get a viable vaccine this unprecedented outbreak will not be overcome in grand, sweeping gesture, rather only by the collection of individual choices our community makes in the coming months. This virus is unforgiving to unwise choices. My goal in writing this is to prevent communities from getting 'sucker-punched' by what the epidemiological community knows will happen in the coming weeks. It will be easy to be drawn to the idea that what we are doing isn't working and become paralyzed by fear, or to 'cheat' a little bit in the coming weeks. By knowing what to expect, and knowing the importance of maintaining these measures, my hope is to encourage continued community spirit, strategizing, and action to persevere in this time of uncertainty."

 

March 27th at 9:15pm
From the Suffolk County Department of Information Technology

Here is the latest count of reported COVID-19 cases in the South Country area as of 3/27/20 @ 9:12pm
• 16 in East Patchogue
• 8 in North Bellport
• 4 in Brookhaven
• 1 in Bellport Village

 

The Latest From Governor Cuomo... 
"I want to share with you some of the remarks I gave to members of the National Guard earlier today in the Javits Center, which this week has been converted into a temporary hospital.

"This is not going to be a short deployment. This is going to be a long day and it's going to be a hard day and it's going to be an ugly day and it's going to be a sad day. This is a rescue mission that you're on — the mission is to save lives. That's what you're doing. The rescue mission is to save lives and as hard as we work, we're not going to be able to save everyone.

"My second point is, you are living a moment in history. Ten years from now, you'll be talking about today to your children or your grandchildren and you will shed a tear because you will remember the lives lost. But you will also be proud. You'll be proud of what you did. You'll be proud that you showed up. You had the skill and the professionalism to make a difference and save lives. At the end of the day, nobody can ask anything more from you. We're going to save lives and New York is going to thank you. God bless each and every one of you."

Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. The first 1,000-bed temporary hospital is now complete at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The facility will fully open on Monday. I congratulate FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Guard and the staff at Javits for their speedy work. They built an entire hospital in a week — an incredible achievement.

2. Schools statewide will remain closed until at least April 15th. We will reassess whether to continue closures at that time. School districts will be required to continue child care, meal and distance learning programs.

3. New Yorkers without health insurance can apply for a health plan through NY State of Health. If you recently lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan or Child Health Plus.

4. The State and Army Corps of Engineers have toured and identified four new sites for temporary hospitals for construction. The sites — the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the Aqueduct Racetrack facility in Queens, CUNY Staten Island and the New York Expo Center in the Bronx — would add an additional 4,000 beds to the state's hospital capacity. I'm asking President Trump to approve these sites immediately so construction can begin.

5. For a 90-day period, New Yorkers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying life insurance premiums. Late payments will be payable over a one-year period. Additionally, consumers and small businesses experiencing Coronavirus-related financial hardship may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance for a 60-day period. This includes auto, homeowners, renters and other kinds of insurance. (No late fees will be assessed and there will be no negative impact to your credit.)

6. The USNS Comfort, a U.S. Navy hospital ship, is expected to arrive in New York Harbor on Monday. It is a massive facility with 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms, a pharmacy and a laboratory. The Comfort's beds will be used for non-Coronavirus patients to free up hospital capacity.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": New York catering company Great Performances is helping prepare and deliver 40,000 meals weekly to 8,000 homes of New Yorkers who are no longer able to get meals at their local senior centers. Their kitchen in the South Bronx is working around the clock to prepare meals and we're so grateful."

 

March 27th at 5:45pm
South Country School District Closed Through April 14th

Governor Cuomo has announced School Closure has been extended two weeks through April 14, 2020.

 

March 27th at 3:45pm
From the Suffolk County Department of Information Technology

Map

Here is a map of reported COVID-19 cases in the South Country area as of 3/27/20 @ 12:14pm
• 13 in East Patchogue
• 5 in North Bellport
• 3 in Brookhaven
• 1 in Bellport Village

 

March 26th at 8:10pm
The Latest From Governor Cuomo... 

"The outpouring of support over the last week from the people of New York, and from people across the world, has been inspiring. We are grateful to all the companies and individuals who stand with us in this fight.

I know that you are tired of this situation. I am too. But when I feel tired I think of the first responders who are out there every day showing up. I think of the healthcare professionals working 7-day weeks. I think of the grocery store workers who are doing double shifts just to keep food on the shelves, and the pharmacists who have lines going out the door, and so many others. The truth is, this is not a sprint — this is a marathon. And we will get through it.

Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. We are doing everything possible to slow the spread while adding hospital capacity. The state has identified four new sites for temporary hospitals, which I will tour tomorrow: the CUNY College of Staten Island, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, Aqueduct Race Track in Queens and the New York Expo Center in the Bronx. These facilities, together with the temporary hospitals that are being built at the Javits Center and other locations, are aimed at building thousands of new beds to bolster existing hospital capacity. The state is also preparing hotels and college dormitories for emergency beds.

2. As of this morning, we have lost 385 New Yorkers to Coronavirus-related illnesses. We mourn them and my thoughts are with their loved ones. Tragically, we expect the number to rise as many patients have been on ventilators for weeks. NY will keep fighting to save lives. Help us save lives by staying home.

3. More than 52,000 volunteers signed up to work as part of the state's surge healthcare force. Just in the last day, an additional 12,000 healthcare workers, including retirees and students, have signed up to volunteer to join New York's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 8,600 mental health professionals, from New York and other states, have signed up to provide free online mental health services. For free emotional support, consultation and referral to a provider, call 1-844-863-9314.

4. New York State's income tax filing deadline is delayed until July 15, 2020. Because New York State requires electronic filing, the date for filing state personal income taxes automatically travels with the federal filing date, which is now July 15. Further guidelines will be released soon.

5. If you filed for unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, you do not need to prove you are searching for employment to make a claim. Department of Labor Commissioner Reardon has signed a new order that limits all work search activities for all unemployment claimants. No activities are required during the pandemic to receive unemployment benefits.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": JetBlue is donating free flights for incoming medical volunteers heading to New York State. I want to thank them for transporting the vital personnel we need. They are just one of dozens of businesses and organizations that have donated supplies and services to the state — for which we are deeply grateful."

 

March 25th at 9:15pm
A Message From Governor Cuomo... 

"While the number of positive Coronavirus cases in New York continues to climb, I want to share some hopeful news: New data show that our density reduction measures may be working. The forecasted rate of hospitalizations are slowing down. On Sunday, forecasts showed hospitalizations doubling every 2 days; on Monday, they showed hospitalizations doubling every 3.4 days; and yesterday, they showed hospitalizations doubling every 4.7 days. But the virus is still spreading very quickly, and New Yorkers must stay at home and practice social distancing as directed. By doing so we may flatten the curve.

Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. A mental health hotline is available to New Yorkers who need it. We can't underestimate the impact this pandemic is having on mental health. I'm proud that over 6,000 mental health professionals have volunteered their time to help with New York's Coronavirus response. For free emotional support, consultation and referral to a provider, call 1-844-863-9314.

2. New York City will pilot closing streets to vehicles and opening them to pedestrians as part of the city's plan to address the lack of adherence to social distancing protocols. I am also enacting a voluntary playground social density protocol that prohibits close contact sports such as basketball.

3. Utility rate increases that were scheduled to go into effect on April 1 have been postponed. At my direction, the Public Service Commission ordered that rate hikes be postponed for nearly 2 million customers. This will help ease the financial stress on families and businesses affected by this pandemic.

4. Make sure you respond to the 2020 Census. Invitations to complete the Census have started to arrive in New Yorkers' mailboxes, and this year you can respond online. Everyone living in New York counts: A complete tally of all New Yorkers is crucial in determining how the state receives federal funds for infrastructure, education, public health and more. You can fill it out without having to leave your house. For more information on the Census, click here.

5. I want to share my thanks. I am so grateful to the frontline heroes who are helping our state respond to this pandemic. If you see them, thank them. My thanks go out to every healthcare worker, EMT, police officer, firefighter, grocer, trucker, store clerk, mail carrier, takeout cook, hospital and building cleaner, teacher, child care worker, mental health professional and countless others. You are stepping up and your state and I are grateful.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": New York University is offering early graduation for senior medical students so they can help overworked doctors who are fighting in the COVID-19 pandemic. Senior medical students who volunteer will be able to work immediately as paid interns at NYU Langone Health's Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine departments."

 

March 25th at 7:30pm
The Lighthouse Mission  

The Lighthouse Mission is not a soup kitchen. It does not serve cooked meals. Instead, Lighthouse Mission box trucks go out stocked with emergency food, clothes & other necessities into the community. At each “Outreach” outdoor location, staff and volunteers unload and set up the boxes / bags of food / clothes / etc.. Anyone can attend these Lighthouse Mission daily Food Outreaches. You do not need paperwork or to sign up in advance to receive food. The Outreaches are held outdoors ALL YEAR LONG, rain or shine.

During the Coronavirus outbreak, the Lighthouse Mission is still operating their regular 10 weekly Food Outreaches, but they’re taking precautions to keep everyone safe. These locations can be found here.

In addition, the Lighthouse Mission is temporarily offering delivery to homebound seniors 65+ who live in the Town of Brookhaven. Due to the abundance of people in need, these guidelines are firm and they thank you for understanding!

If you are interested in volunteering with the Lighthouse Mission, or have questions, please call their office at 631-758-7584.

 

March 24th at 9:00pm
A Message From Governor Cuomo... 

"I want to be clear: We are not willing to sacrifice 1-2% of New Yorkers to this virus. That's not who we are. My mother is not expendable. Your mother is not expendable. We will not put a dollar figure on human life. We can have a public health strategy that is consistent with an economic one. No one should be talking about social Darwinism for the sake of the stock market. The first order of business is to save lives.

Here's what else you need to know:

1. We have some new facts about the pandemic that are not encouraging — and I want to make sure you understand them so we react accordingly. Unfortunately, the increase in the number of cases in New York is continuing — in fact, the rate of increase has gone up. We are now forecasting that the "apex" of the virus in our state — the point when we have the most cases — could be as soon as 14 to 21 days from now. New York State is doing everything we can on every level to slow the spread and flatten the curve, but we need your help. Please stay at home and follow our protocols.

2. I'm asking the federal government to send more ventilators to New York. The state has procured about 7,000 ventilators but we still need at least 30,000 more. The federal government must distribute ventilators from their stockpile to our state, where there is the greatest need. We need them now — it will be the difference between life and death. After New York gets past the apex of this pandemic, I will transport the ventilators myself wherever they are next needed.

3. New York State is distributing health care supplies to help frontline workers combating COVID-19 in New York City, Long Island and Westchester. The state is deploying 339,760 N-95 masks, 861,700 surgical masks, 353,300 gloves, 145,122 gowns and 197,085 face shields to the hospitals in the greatest need in these regions. This disbursement is on top of the one million N-95 masks that the State purchased and sent to New York City and the approximately 500,000 N-95 masks that the State purchased and sent to Long Island last week.

4. We are continuing to find new ways to build a health care staff reserve to meet surge capacity. The State Department of Financial Services is requesting that health insurance companies disclose the number of nurses and doctors who work for them (for example, to process claims). This is so the state can reach out to those employees and ask them to temporarily serve in the field during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

5. It is clear that the Coronavirus pandemic will have a real impact on "gig-economy" workers. They deserve protections now, which is why I am asking the federal government to provide unemployment assistance to New York's "gig-economy" workers, farmers, independent contractors and others. I also signed an Executive Order waiving the 7-day waiting period for workers to claim unemployment insurance if you have been put out of work due to COVID-19. Learn how to file an unemployment insurance claim here.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Feeling cooped up? At 12pm tomorrow (March 25th), the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx is giving a virtual "Orchid Show" while the Garden remains temporarily closed. Join the Facebook Watch Party here."

 

March 24th at 5:00pm
Brookhaven Animal Shelter Seeking Fosters/Adopters for Medium to Large Mixed Breed Dogs 

During this time of need, the Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center is looking for fosters/adopters for medium to large mixed breed dogs. Some dogs require a single pet household as well as some that get along with other dogs. There are also dogs with some behavioral issues such as anxiety, guarding of food, toys or space, stranger reactivity, or some barrier reactivity and will require a very specific type of home. If interested, please complete the Brookhaven Animal Shelter’s online “Matchmaker” application at www.BrookhavenNY.gov and a member of the animal shelter staff will be in touch with you. Please note that all potential fosters/adopters will be required to make an appointment to visit the shelter for a "meet and greet" along with any other members and/or dogs that live in the household, as well as provide proof of home ownership or written landlord/homeowner approval."

The Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center is closed to the public until April 1. Those still interested in adoption, foster care and questions on redemption are asked to call the Animal Shelter during business hours at 631-451-6950, Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm.

 

NY Blood Center Cancels April 9th Brookhaven Town Hall Blood Drive but Blood is Still Needed
The Town of Brookhaven has been notified that the NY Blood Center has canceled all remote location blood drives through April 30th, including the April 9th event at Brookhaven Town Hall.

The Town of Brookhaven strongly encourages all healthy donors to make an appointment to donate blood at a NY Blood Center. Blood collection sites are disinfected frequently, and extra precautions are being taken to help prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19 as per Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations. NY Blood Center staff are also practicing health self-assessments prior to presenting at work. Hours have recently been adjusted to reflect the increased need. If you can donate anytime over the next few weeks, please visit https://nybloodcenter.org/ or call 646-739-1827 and schedule an appointment.

 

Thank You to Senator Martinez and John Rogers, Chair of the GBC for Sharing the Following Information Regarding Rent Forbearance and Mortgage Payments
The state is currently working on the issue of rent forbearance. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will waive mortgage payments for the next 90 days, based on financial hardship, due to the impacts of the Coronavirus. "If you are not working, if you are working only part-time, we're going to have the banks and financial institutions waive mortgage payments for 90 days. That will be a real-life economic benefit. It will also be a stress reliever for many families." The governor also said that he is ordering that fees be waived for overdrafts, ATMs, and credit cards.

   

"Ways to Minimize the Spreading of the Corona Virus" by Dr. Gary Welch
Editor's Note: We'd like to thank Dr. Gary Welch for sharing his article with us regarding ways to minimize the spreading of the Corona Virus (COVID-19). He drew this information from New England Journal of Medicine and the CDC.


What are the symptoms of the Corona virus 2019 (COVID-19)?
• Fever
• Cough
• Shortness of breath
• Your symptoms could initially start with a sore throat
• Tired and achy

The virus is primarily spread by person to person via respiratory droplets in the air. It is also thought that it can spread through surface contact and then bringing your hands to your face; however, the virus does not live long on surfaces. The New England Journal of Medicine in the most recent research states that the COVID-19 virus can live in the air for 3 hours, and that it’s viable on plastics for 72 hours, 48 hours on stainless steel, 24 hours on cardboard, and 4 hours on copper.

This tells us that if an environment is person free for more than 72 hours, the virus is non-existent. For example, a school or office space that been person free for more than three days won’t need to be cleaned in an attempt to kill the virus because the virus has already expired. To keep your living environment clean, first clean the surface with a soap and water or cleaning solution, and then use an EPA approved disinfectant/antibacterial cleaner or wipes. You can create your own disinfectant by adding five tablespoons of bleach to one gallon of water, or use an alcohol solution that contains 70% alcohol to 30% water. I would advise you to wear rubber gloves while you do this to protect your skin, and make sure the area is ventilated well.

So, how does the virus travel once in our body? The virus enters the body through the mouth, nose, and possibly around the eyes. It enters the lungs attaching to the airways and our body then creates a thick mucus and the result is restricted or closed airways, which will make breathing difficult and labored. Your symptom at this point is shortness of breath.

To decrease the possibility of it making its way into the lungs there are a few things that you can do. Drink fluids frequently, every 15-20 minutes. It’s been advised to drink hot liquids which can aide in killing the virus. This will keep the tissues in your mouth, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and esophagus moist. Once the virus has flowed into the stomach, the stomach acid will kill the virus. Hot drinks can include coffee, tea, soup, warm water, etc…

You can also treat the mouth by using an oral antiseptic like Listerine or you can make your own by combining small amounts of salt, vinegar, and or lemon to warm/hot water (not hot enough to burn yourself). This will lyse practically all of the virus that’s in your mouth.

What about your nose? You can use a Neti Pot or something similar, cleaning the sinuses with a warm salty solution. I would advise you to boil the water first, and let it cool down to a warm temperature first. This will help to clear your sinuses of the virus.

If you have to go out or go to work, when you get home, go straight to the bathroom and take a shower, washing your hair, face and entire body. You can also throw your clothes
into the washing machine and wash your clothes daily. The detergent and water will kill any virus that’s on your clothing. If you can’t wash your clothes daily, you could hang your clothes out in direct sunlight which is effective at killing viruses.

If you’re in a warm environment, a good place to be is the beach. The sun and saltwater will kill the virus significantly. However, it’s advisable to avoid crowds of people.

If you get a sore throat, zinc creates a barrier over the tissue in your throat. A few ideas I have for adding a barrier to your throat is Zicam dissolvable tablets, which coat the throat well. You can also take vitamins with zinc or a zinc supplement.

If you begin to experience a sore throat, immediately take action as described above. i.e. drink hot liquids, create a zinc barrier, clean nasal passages with warm salty water, use oral antiseptic, take a warm/hot shower and clean your entire body.

Don’t forget to do what we always should be doing. Wash your hands frequently (every 20 minutes), keep your hands away from your face, don’t shake hands with another person, and avoid crowds.

I hope this helps you and your family. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach me through my contacts page at https://spectrumpt.com/ 

 

March 23rd at 9:30pm
Updated Information from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

1. Supplies are arriving at the Javits Center, which Governor Cuomo toured earlier today to see the progress on the building of a temporary hospital there. The federal administration has deployed 339,760 N95 masks, 861,700 surgical masks, 353,300 gloves, 145,122 gowns and 197,085 face shields to New York State. Many state supplies have also been deployed to the Javits Center. The facility will open next week.

2. A drive-thru mobile testing center opened in the Bronx this morning. This opening follows successful mobile testing centers in New Rochelle, Rockland County, Staten Island and Long Island. (Visits are appointment-only and must be made by calling 1-888-364-3065.) New York is currently testing more than 16,000 people per day, more than any other state or country per capita.

3. Governor Cuomo launched the New York Stronger Together campaign. Celebrities including Robert De Niro, Danny DeVito, Ben Stillerand La La Anthony have shared videos amplifying the Governor's message that people must stay home — not just to protect their own health, but to protect the health of more vulnerable New Yorkers.

4. 30,000 people have responded to the call for retired nurses and doctors, medical school students and others to join New York's Coronavirus response effort. We still need more citizens to join this reserve staff. If you are a recently retired medical professional, a therapist, a psychologist or a qualified medical or nursing school student or staff member, they want your help. Enlist here: www.health.ny.gov/assistance.

5. The FDA has approved the use of a new experimental treatment in New York on a compassionate care basis to treat COVID-19 patients. The trials will use antibody injections to help stimulate and promote individuals' immune systems against the virus.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": New York State Parks remain open for solitary walks or hikes — but you must keep six feet of distance from others. You can also take a virtual tour of many New York State parks here.

 

March 23rd at 6:00pm
Update from the Town of Brookhaven 

In response to the current COVID-19 health crisis, the Town of Brookhaven has taken the following steps:

- Closed all 75 playgrounds to the public until further notice
- Closed all town basketball courts to the public until further notice
- Closed all town tennis and pickleball courts to the public until further notice
- Closed all town handball and volleyball courts to the public until further notice
- Closed all town golf courses to the public until further notice
- Suspended sale of resident stickers to the public until further notice
- Cancelling all events scheduled or issued a permit for use of parks facilities to the public through April 30

 

Update from the Cross Sound Ferry 
- If you are traveling with a vehicle, please feel free to stay in your vehicle during the trip. They have lowered the vehicle capacities on their vessels to ensure there is adequate space to allow everyone to freely exit and enter their vehicle while the vessel is underway. Vehicle engines must remain off while the vessel is underway.
- They have increased the frequency of cleaning for all shoreside facilities. All vessel restrooms, food service areas, countertops and tables are being sanitized between every departure.
- They encourage passengers to spread out while sitting on board to maintain a safe distance from each other.
- Their crew is deep cleaning and sanitizing at night while vessels are not operating.
- They have increased the quantity of antibacterial hand sanitizing stations on all vessels and shoreside facilities.
- They have increased inventory of all antibacterial cleaning supplies and sanitizers.
- They are in the process of installing surface sanitizing wipe stations onboard our vessels.
- To minimize exposure, they are limiting the handling of boarding tickets for passengers with reservations.
- Please follow personal hygiene recommendations from the CDC, and do not travel if you are sick.
- They are temporarily waiving reservation cancellation fees.

 

March 23rd at 11:30am
Bellport Country Club Offers Free Meals-to-Go to Those in Need 

Meals to go for our neighbors in need! The Bellport Country Club knows there are families who need meals during this incredibly challenging time. No questions asked if you or someone you know is in need of food... Bellport Country Club and family would like to be here for you...

In an effort to support our community during this difficult time, the  Bellport Country Club will be providing meals-to-go for our neighbors in need at no cost. In keeping with the requirements for social distancing, they will be scheduling pickup times to minimize person-to-person contact. If you or anyone you know is in need of a meal, please let them know how many to feed and their team will take it from there!

The first date for pick-ups will be this Wednesday, March 25th. Orders will be received on Tuesday, March 24th between 11am and 2pm. Pick-ups will be Wednesday, March 25th from 12pm-3pm. Orders can be placed at 631-286-4227 or emailed to catering@bellportcc.com. They hope to continue this as frequently as possible.

 

March 22nd at 9:20pm
Updated Information from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

1. Governor Cuomo is calling on the federal government to implement the Defense Production Act to direct companies to produce medical supplies like ventilators and masks. New York State is scouring the globe for these supplies, but we need more than we can find. Currently, states are competing with other states, hospitals with other hospitals, and there is significant price gouging. The federal government must nationalize the contracting and acquisition of medical supplies.

2. Non-essential businesses are closed (in-person operations) as of 8pm tonight. Essential businesses like pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations and more will stay open. Unsure what counts as an essential business? See the full list here.

3. Governor Cuomo accepted the Army Corps of Engineers' recommendations for the temporary hospital sites in NYS and they are ready for construction to start as soon as tomorrow. Hospitals at SUNY campuses will be built indoors with outdoor tent support and on-site health care staff will stay at the dormitories. FEMA will erect an additional four federal hospital facilities. Each FEMA facility will have 250 beds and come fully equipped and fully staffed by the federal government.

4. Action is being taken to maximize existing hospital capacity. Governor Cuomo is requiring all hospitals statewide to develop plans that expand their capacity by at least 50% with the goal of expanding capacity by 100%. (State regulations affecting capacity have been temporarily waived.) The state also leased a nursing home facility in Brooklyn to convert to a 600-bed hospital. Finally, all elective, non-critical surgeries are cancelled, effective Wednesday, March 25, which will free up around a quarter of existing hospital beds.

5. Drug therapy trials will start Tuesday. The state has acquired 70,000 doses of Hydroxychloroquine, 10,000 doses of Zithromax and 750,000 doses of Chloroquine. Trials will start on Tuesday.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment": Danny DeVito, Ben Stiller and other New Yorkers are helping amplify the message of urging New Yorkers to stay at home to stop the spread of this virus and save lives. See them here.

 

March 22nd at 5:20pm
Child Care at the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area 

The Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport area, located at 471 Atlantic Ave in Bellport, will be giving out snacks to members of the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport area starting on Monday, March 23rd, from noon to 4pm.

Starting Monday, March 30th, the Boys & Girls Club will be offering child care to working families from 7:30am to 5:30pm daily. Call the Boys & Girls Club at 631-286-9090 for full details.

 

Child Care 
For assistance in finding child care please contact the Child Care Council of Suffolk hotline # 646-926-3784. They are prioritizing child care for essential workers, including health care workers, first responders, grocery and pharmacy employees and others who are critical to keep our essential supports operational.

 

March 22nd at 12:00pm
From Martha Gillette on Behalf of the Lighthouse Mission and Town Of Brookhaven 

Please share with anyone who may need this information. This is a free program due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

Town Of Brookhaven seniors can call the Lighthouse Mission (631) 758-7584, Monday to Friday 9AM to 5PM and Saturdays 10AM to 2PM, to receive free food delivered to their house. The Town of Brookhaven will come get the bagged groceries and deliver them to seniors. Only two things are required: you must live in the Town of Brookhaven and be a senior. Brookhaven Town and the Lighthouse Mission have teamed up to ensure that seniors do not go hungry during this difficult time. Please help us get the word out. Not all seniors have access to the internet and now with Libraries and Senior Centers closed down, all our seniors have is TV so please share this.

 

From NY State 
- Four initial sites have been identified in New York State for locating temporary hospitals in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers. The four sites are the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Old Westbury and the Westchester Convention Center. The Army Corps is expected to immediately begin work to construct the temporary hospitals. It’s been requested that FEMA designate four field hospitals with 250 beds each for the state of New York.

- Mental health is a vital part of public health. To that end, the Governor is calling on psychologists, therapists and other mental health professionals to pitch in and volunteer their services to help with New York's Coronavirus response. To sign up, visit health.ny.gov/assistance.

- The State has identified 2 million N95 masks for purchase and will send 1 million to New York City and 500,000 to Long Island. New York apparel manufacturers are converting their operations to begin manufacturing masks and other medical equipment. Also, the state purchased 6,000 additional critically needed ventilators. The State is literally scouring the globe looking for medical supplies. The Governor put out a plea yesterday asking for help and his office has been on the phone with all sorts of companies who are really doing great work.

- The Department of Motor Vehicles is closed for all in-office visits. Today, the Governor signed an Executive Order to temporarily close DMV offices and shift the DMV to online transactions. License and permit expirations will be extended, so if your driver's license is about to expire — don't worry.

- Young people: Please stay home. There is significant non-compliance of social distancing rules, especially in parks. The Governor went down to Prospect Park in Brooklyn to see the situation himself. This is a public health issue. Younger people aren't invincible: In fact, 54% of New York State Coronavirus cases are ages 18-49. You shouldn't be endangering your own health, and you certainly have no right to endanger someone else's.

- Drug therapy trials are on the horizon. NY Health Commissioner Dr. Zucker has recommended trials for new drug therapy to help combat COVID-19. The FDA is acquiring 10,000 doses of Hydroxychloroquine and Zithromax for New York State to use on a trial basis.

More information on all of the above can be found here.

 

March 21st at 7:00pm
Governor Cuomo has Enacted New Restrictions that Go into Effect Sunday, March 22nd at 8:00pm 

"Under the rules, nonessential gatherings of people of any size or for any reason are canceled or postponed." The only exception are essential businesses, which include "health facilities, utilities, airports, food makers, grocery stores, farms, convenience stores, laundromats, funeral homes and banks."

 

Cirillo's Market Bellport IGA Offering Select Curbside Service
Cirillo's Market Bellport IGA is offering free curbside grocery pickup for seniors and disabled people. Please call 631-286-2772 to make arrangements.

 

Local Restaurants Offering Takeout and/or Delivery:
Avino’s Italian Table: 2-8 pm delivery and takeout, call 631-803-6416 to order
Varney’s: takeout during regular business hours, call 631- 286-9569
Café Gia: takeout during regular hours 631-205-5344
Café Castello: takeout and delivery until 8pm daily 631-803-8370
Peter’s Luncheonette: takeout and delivery 631-289-0287
Painters: takeout and delivery 12pm-10pm, $35 minimum 631-803-8593
Porters on the Lane: takeout on select dates, call ahead to check if porch pickup is available 631-803-6067
SC Tavern: takeout may be coming soon, call for more information 631-307-9501
Papa Nicks: takeout and delivery 631-286-6060

 

PSEG & National Grid have Suspended Service Disconnections for Non-Payments Through at Least the End of March
PSEG has suspended shut offs for non-payment and it is waiving late fees. It has also closed all customer service centers temporarily, but staff are working remotely, so customers can call 1-800-490-0025 or use their website www.psegliny.com.

National Grid has closed all customer centers until further notice. They are also temporarily suspending service disconnections through the end of April, at which time they will evaluate the need. Visit www.nationalgridus.com or call 1-800-930-5003 for more info.

 

Tax Deadline Extended
The Federal Government has extended the Federal tax filing and payment deadline to July 15, 2020 (there has been no announcement yet for New York State taxes). The government does encourage everyone to file as soon as they are able. To that end, they would like to remind you of the Free File option available at https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free

 

Day Care
Some Day Care and Child Care Facilities remain open -- these are businesses deemed essential by the NY Office of Children & Family Services. Day Care centers that are still open have implemented procedures to protect their staff and children. If you are in need of Day Care for your child, you can call the Child Care Council of Suffolk Parent Counselors at 631-462-0303 to find available slots.

 

March 20th at 5:15pm
All Town Dog Parks are Closed to the Public 

In an effort to help stop the spread of the COVID-Coronavirus the Town of Brookhaven Dog Parks will be closed to the public until further notice. This action by the Town adheres to the Social Distancing recommendations issued by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services. The Town asks that residents please refrain from congregating in groups while corona-related restrictions are in place. Dog Parks will reopen when this public health emergency ends and the Suffolk County Health Department deems it safe.

 

March 20th at 3:17pm
Brookhaven Town Psychiatric Social Workers Provide Services to Help People Cope with Coronavirus Stress and More

The outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the subsequent evolving uncertainty is likely to be stressful for many people. Fear and anxiety about the disease, coupled with all the changes being put in place to reduce the spread of the disease, can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. There may also be a financial strain on many families and an increase in incidents of child abuse, domestic violence and substance abuse due to a lack of healthy coping skills.

The Psychiatric Social Workers for Brookhaven Town are available to all residents for crisis intervention, referrals or telephone sessions to help reduce the stress of those in need. The following are some of the services available to all Town of Brookhaven residents:

• Individual and/or Family Counseling
• Support and Educational Groups
• Crisis Intervention
• Housing Referrals
• Advocacy with Community Services
• Case Management and Independent Living Skills
• Intervention with Runaway and Homeless Youth

For more information about the social services provided by the Town of Brookhaven, call (631) 451-8011 or visit www.BrookhavenNY.gov.

 

March 20th at 1:30pm
All Brookhaven Town Playgrounds are Closed to the Public, Brookhaven Town Parks Remain Open

In an effort to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, the following steps have been taken by the Town of Brookhaven: All Town of Brookhaven Playgrounds and Playground equipment are closed to the public until further notice. Town of Brookhaven Parks remain open to the public for passive activities only. Residents in the parks should strictly adhere to the Social Distancing recommendations issued by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

 

March 20th
Lighthouse Mission Providing Free Delivery Meal Service for Seniors

Lighthouse Mission is providing free food delivery for homebound seniors in Brookhaven Town. Please call 631-758-7584 to make arrangements.

 

March 20th
Coronavirus Community Update from the Greater Bellport Coalition (Received March 20th at 8am)

- NY, PA, CT, and NJ will temporarily close all indoor portions of retail shopping malls, amusement parks and bowling alleys effective March 19th at 8PM.

- NYS Dept. of Labor Implements a Filing System and Extends Hours to Address the Influx of Unemployment Claims
To file a claim log on to: https://applications.labor.ny.gov/IndividualReg/

NYSDOL is implementing a new more efficient filing system based on the first letter of the applicants last name (alphabetical order). Here is the step-by-step process for filing;

A - F : Monday
G – N : Tuesday
O – Z : Wednesday
Missed your day : Thursday and Friday

Filing later in the week will not delay payments or affect the date of an individual’s claim, since all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed.

- Suffolk County Police Department Update as of March 18th
In an effort to limit person-to-person contact there will be a number of operational changes for the Suffolk County Police Department.

While precincts will remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they are encouraging residents to not visit precincts unless critically necessary. Anyone who is feeling ill especially is requested to not respond to a precinct or police headquarters.

Instead residents should call 911 and disclose all health concerns and symptoms to enable our officers to prepare and protect themselves and the community.

For the time being, fingerprinting services will not be available.

The Police Department also offers residents a number of different ways to file police reports – you do not have to go into the precinct to file a report.

Types of incidents that can be reported online or over the phone include harassing communications, lost property, criminal mischief, non-criminal property damage, minor motor vehicle crashes, identity theft and some larcenies.

To report online visit www.suffolkpd.org or call 631-852-COPS to report over the phone.

If a report cannot be filled online or by telephone, an officer will be dispatched to the individuals location, and he or she will follow specific guidelines to protect both their health and safety and the health and safety of the resident.

Additionally, our residents have the ability to request incident reports, motor vehicle accident reports and background checks all online at www.suffolkpd.org.

And finally, the SCPD’s Alarm Management Program will be closed until further notice. This will not change the present status of a resident's alarm and extensions will be provided if someone’s bill is due during this time period.

- Suffolk County Department of Social Service Will Remain Open:

Riverhead Center
893 E. Main Street Riverhead, New York 11901-2542
Telephone: (631) 852-3500
Fax: (631)852-3505

Coram Center
80 Middle Country Road Coram, New York 11727
Telephone: (631) 854-2300
Fax (631) 854-2123

Smithtown Center
200 Wireless Boulevard Hauppauge, New York 11788
Telephone: (631) 853-8714
Fax: (631) 853-8842

South West Center
2 South 2nd Street Deer Park, New York 11729
Telephone: (631) 854-6600
Fax: (631) 854-6672

All efforts to reduce public contact are being made while meeting the needs of the County’s most vulnerable residents.

Applications:
Applications for assistance programs can be submitted by mail (instead of coming to a center). Please visit the SCDSS website for information or to download applications at: https://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/Social-Services/Client-Benefits-Administration

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications and case recertification can be submitted electronically @ www.mybenefits.ny.gov or by mail (instead of coming to a center).

Additionally, SNAP benefits can be used for online grocery purchases. Current participating retailers include: Amazon, Walmart and ShopRite. Amazon is available statewide; Walmart and ShopRite participate in specific zip codes. Walmart, depending on specific locations, offers delivery, pick-up or both. Clients can enter zip code on the Walmart or ShopRite websites to find availability.

- SMART 911
Residents are encouraged to sign up for SMART911, which allows individuals and families to provide critical medical information to 9-1-1 and first responders.

The information provided in a Smart911 Safety Profile enables emergency service providers to know who is at the greatest risk in our community. They can provide individuals with critical updates based on their location and health history.

Ultimately, Smart911 gives our community the chance to be proactive, and lets the emergency service providers know who requires their services. Residents can visit www.Smart911.com to sign up.

As part of this effort, residents can now sign up for SMS text message updates on their mobile devices to receive updates on the latest information, health guidance and other developments relating to the coronavirus. Residents should text COVIDSUFFOLK to 67283 to enroll.

- Small Business Guidance
All businesses and counties are advised to reach out to their regional ESD office (https://esd.ny.gov/about-us/contact-us) and DHSES for small business info (http://www.dhses.ny.gov/index.cfm). They will be coordinating, assisting, and communicating once NYS has received its approval.

- Closure of Suffolk County Department of Human Resources, Personnel and Civil Service
As of March 17, 2020- The Suffolk County Civil Service Building will be closed to the public for the next two weeks or until further notice. All essential functions will continue. Almost all transactions and general inquires can be addressed online via access to the website or by phone. For those wishing to drop material off at the building we greatly encourage you to mail instead.

- New Yorkers with Student, Medical, and Other State-Referred Debt Will Have Payments Frozen for At Least 30 Days
NY state will temporarily halt the collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection, for at least a 30-day period, in response to growing financial impairments resulting from the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

- Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs
Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs as well as SWEP are closed to the public. Information is available by phone and email.

631 853-4600 Consumer.affairs@suffolkcountyny.gov 
631-853-6600 SC.DOL@Suffolkcountyny.gov 
631-853-3820 Suffolk Works Employment Program (SWEP) Help Line

- Food Pantry and Feeding Programs
Long Island Cares (LIC) Michael Haynes 631-579-1334

LIC will perform Grab and Go breakfast to children and adults in need (Gus Truck) ;
• Saturday, March 21: Wyandanch Community Resource Center, 1585 Straight Path (from 9:30 to approximately 10:30 a.m.)
• Saturday, March 21: Mercy Inn, 17 S. 20th Street, Wyandanch (from approximately 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.)
• Sunday, March 22: HELP Suffolk, 685 Brookhaven Avenue, Bellport
Sunday, March 29: Mastic Fire Department, 1080 Mastic Road, Mastic

LIC will provide emergency bags of food to seniors and individuals in need (Support our Seniors Program) Consists of: 9 meals per person, 3 meals per day, for 3 days based on Feeding America guidelines

3/18/20 - Moriches Bay Recreation Center-12:00-1:00pm- 313 Frowein Rd. Center Moriches, NY 11934
3/18/20 – Hampton Bays 10-11:00am -31 E Montauk Highway Hampton Bays, NY 11946
3/18/20- Avery Village – 2:30 pm -3:30 pm -1100 Village Drive East Patchogue, NY 11772
3/20/20 - Mitchel Houses 1pm-2pm -1485 Front Street, East Meadow, 11554
3/20/20 –- Sienna Village10:00 am – 11:00am – 2000 Bishops Rd , Smithtown, NY 11787-
3/23/20 - Plainview Housing- 10:00 am -11:00 am - 115 Central Park Rd, Plainview, NY 11803
3/27/20 – Village of Brentwood 10:00am-11:00am- 95 2nd Avenue, Brentwood, NY 11717

LIC will provide emergency food to individuals in need (Mobile Outreach Resource Enterprise) Mobile Outreach Resource Enterprise (M.O.R.E.): Provides emergency food to individuals- They will be provided 3 meals per day for 3 days.

3/20/20 - Rogers Memorial Library - 11am-12pm - 91 Coopers Farm Rd, Southampton, NY 11968
3/20/20 – Westbury FQHC Family Health Center – 10:30am - 11:30am 682 Union Ave, Westbury, NY 11590
3/25/20 - Middle Country Public Library – 11am-12pm - 101 Eastwood Blvd, Centereach, NY 11720
3/25/20 - Comsewogue Public Library - 12:30m-1:30pm - 170 Terryville Rd, Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776

LIC operates satellite locations including its own emergency food pantries at several community locations. Satellite centers will serve 6 families at a time. People in need are encouraged to call the LIC location closest to them to make an appointment to alleviate time constraints. Food boxes will be delivered to vehicles. Hours and locations are as follows:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM; Tuesday-Thursday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Our staff will also be available to assist people at other times including, weekends by appointment only by calling (631) 582-3663 Ext 109.

Long Island Cares-The Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank
10 Davids Drive – Harry Chapin Way, Hauppauge
(631) 582-FOOD for appointment

Nassau Center for Collaborative Assistance
21 East Sunrise Highway, Freeport
(516) 442-5221 for appointment

South Shore Service Center
163-1 North Wellwood Avenue, Lindenhurst
(631) 991-8106 for appointment

Harry Chapin Food Bank and Humanitarian Center
220 Broadway, Huntington Station
(631) 824-6384 for appointment

Baxter’s Pet Pantry & Retail Food Rescue Center
161 North Wellwood Avenue, Lindenhurst
(631) 991-8106 for appointment

Hunger Assistance & Humanitarian Center of the Hamptons
286 West Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays
(631) 613-3344 for appointment


March 19th
Suffolk County’s First Drive Thru Free Testing Site Has Opened

Suffolk County’s first drive thru, free testing site for Coronavirus is now open at Stony Brook University in the South Commuter Lot (P Lot).

The mobile testing site features six lanes to accommodate up to 1,000 tests per day and will be open 7 days a week from 7am - 7pm.

If you wish to be tested, call the State of New York Coronavirus Hotline 24/7 at 1-888-364-3065 to make an appointment. If you can't make it to Stony Brook, call your doctor for additional testing options and availability.

Thanks to this drive thru, free testing site right here at Stony Brook University, Long Islanders will have greater and expedited access to the testing needed to identify, contain and combat this outbreak.

 

March 19th
A Message From Altice

In response to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic, Altice USA has taken several steps to ensure that Americans within the communities we serve have reliable access to high-speed broadband connectivity to keep them connected to the people, information, and resources they rely on.

Altice USA is committed to helping schools and students stay connected during this unprecedented time. For households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access, we are offering our Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution for free for 60 days to any new customer household within our footprint.

Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, eligible households interested in this solution can call:

• 866-200-9522 to enroll in Optimum region
• 888-633-0030 to enroll in Suddenlink region

In addition, Altice USA is proud to have joined the Keep Americans Connected Pledge recently announced by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. As part of the pledge, Altice USA has committed for the next 60 days to:

• not terminate broadband and voice service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic;

• waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the Coronavirus pandemic; and

• open our WiFi hotspots to any American who needs them.
Altice USA is also taking various measures to keep our communities safe, healthy and connected; more information can be found at www.alticeusa.com/coronavirus.   

“We know that our connectivity services, especially broadband and voice, are essential for fostering learning for students, powering our local businesses, and keeping our communities connected,” said Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei. “Altice USA is proud to do its part in ensuring that customers and businesses in our service areas have reliable access to the connectivity services that are critically important during this rapidly evolving public health situation.”

 

March 18th
Coronavirus Community Update from the Greater Bellport Coalition

We’d like to thank John Rogers, Chair of the GBC, Greater Bellport Coalition, for the following information.

• Legislator Sunderman has announced that the County is currently working on setting up a mobile testing site. This site will be operational by the end of the week. Residents can start making calls for appointments for this testing site by calling 1-888-364-3065. If calling, please identify yourself as a Suffolk County resident and tell them you need an appointment for the Coronavirus test. Please contact Legislator Sunderman's office at 631-852-1300 for more information.

• Residents can get updates at www.suffolkcountyny.gov or by texting COVIDSUFFOLK to 67283.

• VIRUS TESTING: While testing has been limited, the state is actively working to greatly expand its capacity with drive thru testing centers to come online soon. If you have symptoms and would like to be tested, the State has established a hotline where trained health department professionals will screen callers and issue appointments when appropriate. The Hotline number is 1-888-364-3064.

• SCHOOL NUTRITION: South Country Schools. Grab-n-Go will be available at Bellport High School, Frank P. Long Intermediate, and Verne Critz Elementary School between 10AM and 1PM. Two meals will be included. For those under quarantine or without transportation, call 631-730-1501 to arrange for delivery.

• SENIORS, ADULTS and FAMILIES IN NEED: Long Island Cares will perform Grab and Go breakfast to children and adults in need (Gus Truck), Sunday, March 22: HELP Suffolk, 685 Brookhaven Avenue, Bellport. Long Island Cares will provide emergency bags of food to seniors and individuals in need (Support our Seniors Program) Consists of: 9 meals per person, 3 meals per day, for 3 days based on Feeding America guidelines

• DAY CARE: Day Care and Child Care Facilities were not mandated to close as per Governor Cuomo’s order. Many Day Care/Child Care Centers have implemented procedures to protect their staff and children. If someone is need of Day Care, they can call the Child Care Council of Suffolk Parent Counselors @ 631-462-0303 to find available slots for their children.

• VETERANS: At this time, all VFW's in Suffolk County are closed. Legislator Rob Calarco’s office is working with the Suffolk County Commander, Dave Rogers, as well as our Suffolk County Office of Veterans Affairs to get information out to our Veterans.

• UNEMPLOYMENT FILING: The waiting period for unemployment has been temporarily waived. If an individual loses their job, they should call 1-888-209-8124 and file a claim for Unemployment benefits./span>

 

Special Shopping Hours for Seniors at Stop & Shop and Target
Beginning Thursday, March 19th, all Stop & Shop stores will open earlier in order to service only customers who are age 60 and over from 6:00am-7:30am daily. Click here for more details.

Target is reserving the first hour of shopping every Wednesday for the elderly and those with health concerns. They are also closing all stores at 9pm daily so that they can replenish and deep clean their stores.

 

South Country Schools Food Distribution
The South Country School District has made arrangements for distributing food to all families in need beginning Tuesday, March 17th.

Distribution will occur Monday through Friday between the hours of 10:00am and 1:00pm at the following locations.

· Bellport High School
· Frank P. Long Intermediate School
· Verne Critz Elementary School

Distribution will be “Grab-and-Go” with curb-side pickup to prevent group gatherings. Included in each grab-and-go will be two breakfast and two lunch meals.

When you arrive at the site, simply state how many school-age children in your family, and you will be provided a two-day supply for each student.

This service is being provided for ANY family in need and all are encouraged to take advantage of the food availability.

 

South Country Library
The South Country Library will remain closed through March 30th.

Returns: You may still make returns in their book drop, however there will be no accrual of fines so feel free to hang on to your items it you want to avoid an unnecessary trip.

Reserved Items: Any items on the reserve shelf will be waiting for you when they re-open.

Library Card Renewals: Any library card that was due to expire in March or April will automatically be renewed until June 1st (allowing for continued use of their online services).

Online Resources: In addition to their downloadables and streaming services they are continuing to seek out new ways to provide library services online to our community, including educational offerings for children while schools are closed.

Stay in Touch with the Library: Feel free to reach out with questions or comments to the library at sctyref@sctylib.org
 or visit their website or Facebook page.

 

Brookhaven Town Closings, Cancelations and Postponements
In an abundance of caution related to COVID-19, the Town of Brookhaven has decided to temporarily postpone, suspend, close or cancel many Town events. This is an evolving situation that will be updated as information becomes available.

While Brookhaven Town Hall currently remains open, it is strongly recommended that residents who have business with the Town to use online services or contact Town personnel by phone or email in order to reduce crowds at Town Hall to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. To keep informed on Novel Coronavirus news and information, please follow @BrookhavenTown on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, visit www.BrookhavenNY.gov or call 631-451-TOWN (8696).

CLOSED - All Town of Brookhaven Recreation Centers and Pools will be closed until further notice, effective 5:00 pm on Monday, March 16.

CLOSED - Holtsville Ecology Site & Animal Preserve will be closed to public access until further notice.

CANCELED - All Parks and Recreation Department Programs are canceled until further notice.

CANCELED - Recycle Right Media Contest has been canceled go to www.BrookhavenNY.gov/contest for more information.

CANCELED - What Now?" (Are Your Ready?) Youth Bureau event at Town Hall scheduled for Monday, March 16 at Town Hall has been canceled.

CANCELED - What Now?" (Where do you see yourself?) Youth Bureau event at Town Hall scheduled for Monday, March 30 at Town Hall has been canceled.

CANCELED - Agricultural Advisory Board Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 25 at 4:00 pm has been canceled.

CANCELED - Suffolk County Board of Elections Training Seminars at Town Hall have been canceled until further notice.

POSTPONED - Women’s Recognition Night scheduled for Tuesday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Brookhaven Town Hall has been postponed to a date to be determined.

POSTPONED - Animal Education, Care and Awareness Workshop at the Longwood Public Library scheduled for Saturday, March 21, is postponed to a date to be determined.

POSTPONED - Animal Shelter Donation Drive in Center Moriches scheduled for Saturday, March 21 is postponed to a date to be determined.

POSTPONED - Prom Gown Program at Town Hall scheduled to begin on Tuesday, March 24 has been postponed to a date to be determined.

POSTPONED - Gangs on Long Island - What You Need to Know Youth Bureau event at Town Hall scheduled for Monday, March 23 has been postponed to a date to be determined.

SUSPENDED - Dress for Success Client Suitings and Clothing Donations are suspended until further notice to a date to be determined.

 

Brookhaven Town Suspending Senior Citizen Events, Activities at Senior Center
In response to concerns over the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Brookhaven Town continues to closely monitor the guidance provided by the CDC, New York State Department of Health and Suffolk County Department of Health, and has determined that out of an abundance of caution all large senior citizen events are being postponed. Town Senior Citizen Center activities will be suspended beginning Thursday, March 12, 2020. Meals on Wheels deliveries will continue to our homebound senior citizen population, and seniors previously served by congregate nutrition programs at our senior centers will be offered meal delivery at their homes.

Brookhaven Town is committed to protecting the health of our residents, especially vulnerable populations, and we thank you for your cooperation in our efforts. Residents can call 631-451-TOWN (8696) or go to www.BrookhavenNY.gov for more information, including Coronavirus Safety Tips and How to Avoid Exposure. Follow the Town of Brookhaven on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BrookhavenTown. Residents can call Suffolk County’s 311 call center or go to www.SuffolkCountyNY.gov for more news and information or to sign up for countywide Code Red alerts. If needed, the Town will send out e-mail alerts to residents who have registered. If you are not on the alerts list, you can sign up today at www.BrookhavenNY.gov