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LD 05 - Legislator Kara Hahn

Posted on: April 9, 2020

April 9th E-Newsletter From Legislator Kara Hahn

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April 3rd E-newsletter from Legislator Kara Hahn

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During the past several days there has been considerable discussion about our region possibly nearing an apex of new COVID-19 infections. Regardless of when this point will come, it is essential that we continue to follow guidelines to prevent the spread.

Everyone should:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before you eat.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Keep a distance of at least 6 feet to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and discard it in a closed container.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.

For people who are sick:

  • Stay home.
  • If you have a fever, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines, such as acetaminophen.
  • Keep sick household members away from others. If you have a separate room that is best.
  • Use soap and water, a bleach and water solution, or EPA-approved household products. You can make your own cleanser with a mixture of 1 cup of liquid unscented chlorine bleach in 5 gallons of water.
  • Avoid sharing personal items.
  • Anyone at high risk for complications should talk to their healthcare provider for more information.

Latest Updates 

Stay Updated on COVID-19 Cases in Suffolk County

Suffolk County COVID-19 Cases Mapping E-Newsletter Image

To keep residents informed on the spread of COVID-19 within our communities, Suffolk County has launched a public mapping interface. To view the latest number of positive cases in Suffolk County along with township and hamlet specific data, please visit:

Information is developed from data provided by the New York State Department of Health.

New York State continues to be on PAUSE:

  • All schools and nonessential businesses are to remain closed until at least April 29th;
  • fines for violations of social distancing guidelines have been increased from $500 to $1,000 to help address the lack of adherence by some New Yorkers.

Violations of NY PAUSE and the social distancing guidelines may be reported by calling (631) 852-COPS or 3-1-1.

Cloth Face Coverings Recommended to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

The CDC has recently updated its guidance on the use of masks by the general public. The CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

To read the full guidance, visit:

Not Sure How to Make Your own Face Covering?

In the following short video, Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, shares ways to create your own face covering in a few easy steps.

Surgeon General Adams Youtube Tips for Making Face Coverings E-Newsletter Image

United Way Offers Financial Help to Struggling Long Islanders

United Way of Long Island’s UNITED TOGETHER: A Response Fund For COVID-19 will be used to help Long Island families as the current health and economic crisis progresses. If you are a low-wage worker and have had a recent sudden loss of employment or furlough due to the effects of COVID-19, assistance will be available for eligible applicants. Beginning on or around April 6th support will be provided until these funds are exhausted.


Who Can Receive Assistance?

Low-income, wage earners who reside in Suffolk or Nassau County and are recently unemployed or have been furloughed due to the effects of COVID-19 may apply for assistance. Applicants must meet the monthly eligibility guidelines.


What Assistance Will I Receive?

UNITED TOGETHER: A Response Fund For COVID-19 will help eligible applicants meet their critical basic needs of food and household supplies via retail gift cards.


How To Apply?

Applicants looking to request assistance from UNITED TOGETHER: A Response Fund For COVID-19, may do so through United Way of Long Island’s website beginning early April.

Keep Up With Cornell Cooperative Extension From Home

Until Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County is able to resume its in-person, interactive parent education programs, the educators of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Family Health and Wellness program encourage you to check its website from where its blogs and podcasts (entitled Parenting Tips) are posted. They deal with a variety of important family concerns. Discover lots of helpful information on our Human Development and Parenting links. During this most challenging time, we hope you can find some valuable, research-based parenting strategies.

Stony Brook Medicine Offers Advice

Stony Brook University Department of Family, Population and Preventative Medicine’s Dietetic Internship Program students Brianna Kobylar and Siobhan Walsh, MS have put together helpful tips for adjusting to life during this difficult time.

E-Newsletter Keep Routines Icon ImageFor Home

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, people all around the country are learning to adapt to social distancing and self-quarantining as people are confined to their homes for the time being. This is a big adjustment for most who can no longer leave their home for work, school, sports, or social events. Feeling stuck inside can easily lead to restlessness and can be mentally draining. Brianna Kobylar has put together the following list of "Tips and Tricks to Make the Best of Your Time at Home":

Maintain a Routine

  • When you aren’t leaving the house, it can be tempting to lounge around in bed in your pajamas all day, but we all know we aren’t our most productive this way and soon will feel stuck in a rut. Instead:
  • Try keeping to a normal sleep schedule – don’t stay up too late and set an alarm for the morning. You won’t get much accomplished if you’re exhausted all day!
  • Follow your morning routine as you usually would then change into some daytime clothes. These clothes don’t have to be fancy; they can be comfortable. It’s just better to not spend the day in the same clothes that you sleep in.
  • If you are working from home, set up your own workspace. This should be a place that you can devote to just work, but you don’t need a special office. For example, a dining room table can work great – but not your bed, where you’ll be tempted to doze off. Bonus points for finding a space with natural light to brighten both your space and your mood!


Prioritize Personal Time

  • Spending your days enclosed in your house can make it easy to lay around and drift through your days, so it’s important to set aside time to take care of yourself.
  • Whether you are working from home or taking classes, stick to a similar work schedule that you usually follow. It can be easy to let your work travel into your personal time when both activities take place in a similar physical space. Once your work time is over for the day, time to turn it off. Learn to close work tabs on your computer at the end of the day, clean up and have some personal time.
  • Your personal time can be anything that makes you feel fulfilled - whether that be spending time with your significant other, family, or roommates, reading a good book, watching Netflix, creating art, or picking up an old hobby you haven’t felt you’ve had time for recently. This is your time to enjoy yourself.


Maximize Social Interactions

  • In your usual day-to-day life, you may spend more time than you notice talking to people in passing and having small side conversations. Now at home alone, it’s important to keep up these social interactions for your happiness and sanity. 
  • If you are safe at home with others, make sure to spend time together. As humans, we need this interaction. 
  • Is someone you know home alone? Give them a call or even a video chat. Virtual hangouts can make up for in-person meetups. 
  • Continue that usual small talk with coworkers via phone, zoom, or however you communicate. Keep it light! With everything going on, the constant news can feel depressing, so chat about some good things you have going on now.


Stay Active

  • Generally, everyone’s anxieties are a bit high at the moment. A great way to fight this anxiety and stress is through exercise. Regular physical activity will also benefit your mood and immune system during these difficult times.
  • Being at home, you may find yourself fortuitously replacing the little walks around your office, your morning commute, running errands, or going out to lunch with a more sedentary lifestyle as you sitting around in the same spot for a large majority of the day. If working or taking classes from home, try moving during your lunch break; whether that be a walk outside, a walk around your house, or even put on your favorite music and just dance and move your body!
  • Try to get about 30 minutes of exercise each day; but if that sounds daunting workout for less time and work your way up. You’ll feel better and better the more you stay active! Some more great ideas to stay active include hiking, walking, or biking at local parks or neighborhoods or free online workout videos via YouTube. Several companies are offering free online classes while everyone is staying quarantined. You can do any kind of workout that sounds fun to you – just remember if you’re doing it with anyone else to stay 6 feet apart!


Spending all day at home can undoubtedly make people feel a bit trapped or unproductive, but with some mindful effort, you can make the best of this time at home. Come up with a few simple rules to follow on the daily and enjoy this time while keeping healthy!

E-Newsletter Tips For Shopping Icon ImageWhile Shopping

Food shopping has suddenly become a daunting errand during the COVID-19 pandemic as people wander through aisles looking for needed grocery items while attempting to keep 6 feet away from other customers. However, the trip to the supermarket can be less stressful if you prepare in advance. Making a grocery list, purchasing shelf-stable foods, and focusing on buying in bulk can increase grocery shopping efficiency, save money, minimize food waste, and decrease the need to grocery shop in the near future. Siobhan Walsh, MS explains further in these "Tips for a safe supermarket sweep":


Make an organized grocery list

Before venturing to the supermarket, start by making a list of foods you need to purchase. This will help you stay focused when buying groceries and prevent impromptu purchases. Additionally, consider arranging the items on your list by the layout of the grocery store. For instance, if your local market has the sections bread and dairy next to each other, you can save yourself time by writing the items on your list one right after the other. This will make your grocery shopping trip more efficient. 


What to look for in shelf stable foods

When deciding what food to add to your grocery list, consider the shelf stability of the food. By buying foods with a longer shelf life, you will not need to worry about food expiring so quickly. 


Fruits & Vegetables

While it is encouraged to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, your supermarket may not have available the produce on your grocery list. In that case, look for:

  1. Frozen fruits and vegetables as they are harvested and frozen at the peak of their ripeness, ensuring a high nutritional value. 
  2. If you are short on freezer space or refrigeration, buying fruits and vegetables that do not need refrigeration is key. Some examples include apples, bananas, tomatoes, onions, and potatoes. 
  3. Canned produce is another option; however, they can be high in sodium. When shopping in the canned goods section look for labels that say, “low sodium”. Lastly, after opening the can and draining, rinse the produce with water to remove more sodium from the food. 


Dried Beans

Dried beans are a great option to buy in bulk as they are typically inexpensive, high in protein and have a long shelf life. Dried beans can be stored in your pantry for one to two years and can easily be incorporated into meals. Dried beans are usually soaked before being cooked. If you are unfamiliar cooking dried beans, here is a New York Times article explaining how to prepare them. 



Buying shelf stable dairy and nondairy milk (such as almond milk or soymilk) is another trick to decrease your trips to the grocery store. These milk products are safe to leave in your pantry for months at a time and taste the same as their refrigerated counterparts. However, be advised, after opening, refrigeration is required. 


Buying in Bulk

Even though foods may have an extended shelf life, be mindful when buying food in bulk. In the long run, buying in bulk may be more expensive and can lead to food waste, if you are not using your supply. To prevent wasting money and food, look at expiration dates on packages. Store food by following the First In/First Out (FIFO) rule, indicating that the food is stored in the pantry by earliest to latest expiration date. 

Keep Informed

Residents who have questions related to the COVID-19 should continue to visit the county website, or call Suffolk 3-1-1, or 631-853-6311 if outside the county, where you will be directly connected to a live operator who can direct your call to the appropriate place.

***This remains an evolving situation, so please call 3-1-1 or 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.***

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