March 5, 2020 -- While coronavirus has reached Nassau County, we want to remind Suffolk County residents of the importance of remaining calm. There are no confirmed cases in Suffolk County and we are closely monitoring the situation.
As of March 5th, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) was monitoring 15 people who have recently traveled to affected areas. Not one has symptoms, and all have been advised to remain home, in isolation, until they are cleared. SCDHS is in contact with these people every day to ensure their safety as well as the health and safety of all residents.
Additionally, the concern regarding the virus spreading within communities, among individuals who have not traveled, has prompted the expansion of monitoring to people with fever and severe respiratory symptoms or pneumonia.
Suffolk County is in regular discussions with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State health officials. Coordinated conference calls with our health, emergency services, police, information technology, law, and social services departments occur on a regular basis, and our police department is leading a tabletop discussion on how to prepare for various scenarios. Additionally, SCDHS is in contact with area hospitals to discuss capacity in case of a surge of patients who need to be isolated.
The good news is the number of cases in China, the epicenter of the outbreak, continues to decline and there are effective and simple measures we can all take to prevent the spread of the virus, which is transmitted through respiratory droplets produced by sneezing and coughing.
The CDC recommends taking the following everyday preventive actions:
Finally, know that the CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask; masks should be worn by people who are sick to prevent the spread of the disease and be available for medical providers who are on the frontlines.
For updated information, visit the Health Department website at https://suffolkcountyny.gov/health or call (631) 854-0000. Additionally, New York has established a Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
The health and safety of Suffolk County residents remains a priority, and we will employ all efforts and resources to prevent the spread of this virus.
Presiding Officer, Suffolk County Legislature
~Dr. William Spencer
Suffolk County Legislator, 18th Legislative District
Chair, Suffolk County Legislature Health Committee