COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Updates
NEW YORK FORWARD: REOPENING GUIDELINES
New York Forward: Governor Cuomo has outlined a plan to reopen New York State on a regional basis through a phased approach. More and more businesses will open in each phase. Each industry is subject to specific state guidelines put in place to maximize safety and social distancing. The state’s “NY Forward” website, https://forward.ny.gov/, has information about the different phases, summaries of guidelines, a business affirmation link, and a printable safety template.
Business Reopening Look-up Tool: Empire State Development recently launched a business reopening look-up tool. A business can use this tool to determine whether or not the business is eligible to reopen, and the public health and safety standards with which the business must comply. The look-up tool can be found at www.businessexpress.ny.gov/app/nyforward.
STAY INFORMED WITH PHONE, EMAIL UPDATES
Suffolk County residents can have local updates sent to their phones. Text COVIDSUFFOLK to 67283 to be alerted of the latest information, health guidance, and other developments.
New York State has launched a new email system to provide daily updates about COVID19. Sign up at https://now.ny.gov/page/s/coronavirus-updates.
Find a Test Site Near You: Visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you.
Track Testing Metrics: The state has unveiled a daily metric dashboard to track COVID-19 test results by region. Visit https://forward.ny.gov/covid-19-regional-metrics-dashboard.
People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Or at least two of these symptoms:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Call your doctor if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with someone known to have COVID-19 or who has recently traveled from an affected area or where there is community spread.
CONTAINMENT AND PREVENTION
- Practice social distancing by putting space between you and others.
- Postpone elective events.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially if you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
Suffolk County has launched a Business Recovery Unit to address the concerns and questions that businesses have amid the coronavirus outbreak. Visit the Business Recovery Unit website for updates and resources, including information on SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Contact the Business Recovery Unit by calling 311 or emailing email@example.com.
For information regarding state regulations and general guidance, read Empire State Development’s Coronavirus FAQ for Businesses.
FEMA PUBLIC ASSISTANCE INFORMATION
Visit Suffolk County’s FEMA Public Assistance Information page to learn about COVID-19 disaster response and recovery information and guidance on eligible costs that may be reimbursed by FEMA.
The New York State Department of Labor has implemented a filing system and extended hours to address the influx of unemployment claims.
To file a claim, log on to https://applications.labor.ny.gov/IndividualReg/. Applicants are asked to file according to the following schedule based on the first letter of the applicant’s last name (alphabetical order):
A – F: Monday
G – N: Tuesday
O – Z: Wednesday
Missed your day: Thursday, Friday or Saturday
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 SUPPLY DRIVE FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE SUPPLIES
Suffolk County is looking for donations of N95 masks, ear loop face masks, gowns and gloves. Starting on Monday, March 23, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekdays, individuals will be able to drop off supplies at the Suffolk County Fire Academy located at 102 East Avenue in Yaphank or at either of the DPW yards located at 150 Old Riverhead Road in Westhampton and 97 Crooked Hill Road in Commack. Residents can email FRESfinance@suffolkcountyny.gov regarding large donations of supplies or a potential vendor of opportunity.
For corporations that would like to provide supplies, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the state health department website at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/get-involved-how-you-can-help.
VOLUNTEER WITH THE MEDICAL RESERVE CORP.
The Suffolk County Medical Reserve Corp. is seeking volunteer medical professionals to be deployed to support the ongoing coronavirus public health emergency and emergency preparedness efforts. Visit Suffolk County’s Office of Emergency Management for more information.
Healthcare institutions are seeking plasma donations from people who have recovered from COVID-19 to treat severe cases. While the disease has no proven treatment, it is possible that plasma taken from those who have recovered, which has antibodies against the virus, could help. If you are interested in donating, find out if you are eligible at:
New York Blood Center: https://www.nybloodcenter.org/donate-blood/convalescent-plasma-covid-19-donor-request-form/
Northwell Health: Northwell.edu/CombatCOVID
Stony Brook Medicine: https://www.stonybrookmedicine.edu/COVID_donateplasma
Long Island Cares
The public is welcome to come to any of the following sites to receive food/supplies.
- Long Island Cares, Inc.: 10 Davids Drive Hauppauge, NY 11788, (631) 582-FOOD
- Long Island Cares First Stop Pantry/Harry Chapin Humanitarian Center: 220 Broadway, Huntington Station, NY 11746, (631) 824-6384
- Long Island Cares South Shore Service Center: 163-1 N. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst, NY 11757, (631) 991-8106
- Long Island Cares Annex Baxter’s Pet Pantry: 161 N. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst, NY 11757, (631) 991-8106
- Hunger Assistance and Humanitarian Center of the Hamptons, 286 W. Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays, NY 11946, (631) 613-3344
- Long Island Cares/The Nassau Center For Collaborative Assistance, 21 E. Sunrise Highway, Freeport, NY 11520, (516) 442-5221
Food is also being delivered throughout a dedicated network of nearly 350 agencies located in both Suffolk and Nassau Counties. To access Long Island Cares’ member agencies in your town, visit https://www.licares.org/find-help/food-locator/.
For emergency aid, email email@example.com or call (631) 582-3663.
Find a food pantry through Island Harvest at https://www.islandharvest.org/find-help/find-a-food-pantry/.
For assistance in finding child care, please contact the Child Care Council of Suffolk hotline at (646) 926-3784. Child care is being prioritized for essential workers, including health care workers, first responders, grocery and pharmacy employees and others who are critical to keeping our essential supports operational.
The Suffolk Childcare Consortium has been launched to provide free childcare for first responders, medical professionals, transit workers and where space permits, other essential workers. The new program will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. To qualify, children must be between the grades of Pre-K to Grade 6. Enrollment is on a first-come first-serve basis and will be limited based on space and staffing. For more information, residents should call 3-1-1 or visit www.scopeonline.us/scope-emergency-child-care.
Reporting non-emergency incidents should be done online or over the phone by calling 631-852-COPS. To file a report online, visit www.suffolkpd.org/onlinereporting. 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. Visit www.SuffolkPD.org for more information.
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. Visit Smart911.com to sign up.
SUFFOLK SOCIAL SERVICES
The Suffolk County Department of Social Service remains open. Visit https://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/Social-Services for more information.
Suffolk County Parks remain open for our residents to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air. Dog parks and playgrounds are closed. All County-owned golf courses are open. Park facilities and surfaces are being cleaned regularly. Park visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing and good hygiene to protect yourself and others. Visit Suffolk County Parks (https://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/Parks) for updated information.
NEW SUFFOLK TRANSIT POLICIES
Riders of Suffolk Transit are asked to go cashless with the Suffolk FastFare Mobile App. The app is available for use on all Suffolk County Transit buses and allows riders to easily purchase tickets on their smartphones anytime, anywhere. Additionally, a Rear-Door Boarding Policy is being implemented. Riders will now be required to board on the back of the bus, and the first few rows of the bus are being isolated to create a safe social distance between the riders and the driver.
NYS DMV NOTICE
The NYS Department of Motor Vehicles will resume limited remote services starting June 1. As regions enter Phase 3 of reopening, the DMV will offer limited in-person transactions in state-run DMV offices by reservation only, prioritizing critical services, and will resume road tests for all drivers at that time. Additional DMV reopening guidance can be found at https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/dmv-reopening-guidance. Please visit the DMV website if you wish to complete a transaction online at http://www.dmv.ny.gov.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
It may not be easy to manage your stress, anxiety levels, and mental health right now. Help is just a phone call away.
New York State has launched a hotline for free emotional support, consultation, and referral to a provider. Call 1-844-863-9314.
The Association for Mental Health & Wellness’s Mental Health Helpline is available to all Suffolk County residents who require help in finding and accessing assistance for themselves, for a friend, or a family member. Call 631-226-3900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have an immediate need to speak to someone or know someone in crisis, you can contact Response of Suffolk County’s 24/7 Crisis Hotline at 631-751-7500. If a veteran is in crisis, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1).
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ASSISTANCE
If you are in immediate danger call 9-1-1. Additionally, those reached at the numbers below can provide information, resources and a listening ear 24/7.
- Crime Victims 24 hour Hotline: 631-332-9234
- Hate Crime Hotline: 631-626-3156
- Sex Offender Tip Line: Call 1-(855) PFML TIP or 631-316-3237
- V.I.B.S. Victims Information Bureau, Suffolk: 631-360-3730 x 112
- L.I. Against Domestic Violence Hotline: 631-666-8833
- Brighter Tomorrows Inc.: 631-395-1800 Ext 110
- Crime Victim Center (formerly Parents for Megan’s Law): 631-689-2672
- Crime Victim Center (formerly Parents for Megan’s Law) All Violent Crime Hotline: 631-626-3156
- Crime Victim Center (formerly Parents for Megan’s Law) Rape Crisis Hotline: 631-332-9234
- The Retreat: 631-329-4398
FREE OR LOW-COST WI-FI
Free or low cost Wi-Fi is available, especially for schoolchildren during this time of home schooling.
Charter Communications (Spectrum) and Comcast are giving households with a student in K-12 or college and those who qualify as low-income complimentary Wi-Fi for 60 days. Families who do not have the service will also receive free installation of the service. Call Charter at (844) 488-8395, Comcast at (855) 846-8376. Optimum is giving households with a student in K-12 or college free internet for 60 days. Reach Optimum at (866) 200-9522 or visit www.alticeadvantageinternet.com. Individuals must call these companies after 60 days, or they will be automatically billed.
Charter, Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon are offering unlimited data plans to customers until May 13 for no additional charge.
To qualify for Safelink Wireless, subscribers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines, or participate in one of the following assistance programs: Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Food Stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8), or Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit. Service is limited to one person per household. Call 1- 800-SafeLink (723-3546).
COVID-19 RESOURCE FOR NON-ENGLISH SPEAKERS
The COVID-19 Health Literacy Project has created and translated accessible COVID-19 information into 37 different languages to help all patients, especially immigrants and non-English speaking communities, stay informed and healthy.
Residents may utilize Suffolk County’s 311 service for questions related to coronavirus. A live operator will be available 24/7 to assist and connect callers to the most up-to-date and accurate information pertaining to Suffolk County’s efforts. Dial 3-1-1 if calling from Suffolk County, or (631) 853-6311 if calling from outside the county.
What the U.S. Government is Doing (English)
What the U.S. Government is Doing (Spanish)