March 20th Coronavirus Update
New York State has ordered all non-essential businesses to close on the evening of Sunday, March 22nd. Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and utilities are considered essential and will not have to close.
New York State has launched a new email system to provide daily updates about COVID-19. Additionally, Suffolk County has begun providing COVID-19 updates through SMS text messages. To sign up, please enroll in the State’s notification program and/or text COVIDSUFFOLK to 67283 to get updates texted to your mobile device from Suffolk County.
New York will implement a 90-day moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants. We will do all we can to help those financially suffering because of the #COVID19 pandemic.
For assistance in finding child care please contact the Child Care Council of Suffolk hotline at 646-926-3784. We 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.
On Monday, all sit-down bars and restaurants, casinos, gyms and theaters were closed until further notice, with an allowance for sit-down establishments to provide takeout, grab-and-go and delivery during the period of this closure. On Thursday, all indoor portions of retail shopping malls, amusement parks and bowling alleys were closed.
Beginning Saturday, all barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing salons, nail salons, hair removal services and related personal care services will be closed and on Sunday, all remining non-essential businesses are to be closed.
Grocery Retailer Senior Shopping Hours updates-March 20, 2020
Dollar General 8-9am-Daily
Stew Leonard 7:30-8:00am-Daily
Stop and Shop 6:30-7:30am-Dail
Uncle Giuseppe’s 7-8:00am-Daily
Giunta Meat Farm 6:30-7:30 M/W/F
Target 8-9am Wednesdays
Walmart 6-7am Wednesdays
For area businesses, it has been advised that you reach out to your regional Empire State Development office and the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services for small business info.
Empire State Development has compiled a helpful FAQ that is continuously being update as information becomes available.
Businesses may request designation as an essential business by fill out this form and submitting it to the Empire State Development.
The Suffolk County Business Recovery Unit -- a key component of the County’s overall plan -- is now operational within our Labor Department.
To be connected to the unit, our local businesses can Dial 311 and once prompted press 2 to be transferred to the unit, email
or visit its website
We also want to encourage our residents to fill out the Business Recovery Survey located on the top right of the Suffolk County Government homepage. While it can be accessed on a mobile device, we recommend the use of a desktop or laptop.
New York State has directed ALL non-essential businesses to close by Sunday evening, and, if possible, for employees to work-from-home. Exemptions from the order will include shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions.
New York State has also approved legislation
guaranteeing job protection and pay for New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of novel coronavirus. According to a summary of the legislation:
- Employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million will provide job protection for the duration of the quarantine order and guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.
- Employers with 11-99 employees and employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income greater than $1 million will provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave, job protection for the duration of the quarantine order, and guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.
- Employers with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employers (regardless of number of employees), will provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection for the duration of the quarantine order.
New York State has opened a Suffolk County Mobile testing site. Testing is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. If you have symptoms and need to get checked, please call the the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to be screened over the phone.
Sign-up for SMART 911
Suffolk County is encouraging residents to sign up for SMART911, which allows individuals and families to provide critical medical information to 9-1-1 and first responders well in advance of any type of emergency situation.
The information provided in a Smart911 Safety Profile enables the County to know who is at the greatest risk in our community. We can provide individuals with critical updates based on their location and health history. Additionally, Smart911 gives allows our community the chance to be proactive by letting officials, emergency operators and first responders know what our residents needs are how best to provide services in a time of crisis. Visit Smart911.com
to sign up.
If you are in need of Emergency Services, the Suffolk County Police Department is requesting residents who dial 911 to disclose any and all health concerns or symptoms in order to help protect responding officers and emergency service workers.
Managing COVID-19 Related Stress and Anxiety
The disruption COVID-19 has had on society and the normal routines of our daily lives has been profound. If you are having issues dealing with the added stresses that are result of COVID-19, the CDC on its Manage Anxiety & Stress
- Taking breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Taking care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Making time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connecting with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
To the greatest extent possible, please avoid travel except for essential needs. If you do go out, please remember to follow “social distancing” guidelines and avoid close contact with others and touching shared equipment.
Looking for something creative and fun to do with your children? Then visit Gallery North’s Facebook Page
for its ArtVentures at Home videos. The daily uploads are a good way to let your creativity loose while you’re pent-up inside.
Also, while you may not be able to dine out at this time, I highly encourage you to order takeout or delivery during this time to help support your favorite local restaurants and food establishments.
***This is a rapidly evolving situation, so please visit the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, New York State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local media for the most up-to-date guidance for you and your family.***