Moving Forward in the Days, Weeks and Months Ahead
New York Forward
The New York PAUSE order is set to expire statewide on May 15th. However, reopening the parts of our economy that were shut in Match due to the virus will be done on a regional basis and in phases in order to prevent a potential resurgence of COVID-19 infections. Suffolk will be grouped with Nassau in the Long Island Region for the purpose of meeting the metrics.
In order for a region to be eligible to commence its phased reopening, it must first meet the following criteria:
- New Infections: Based on guidelines from the CDC, regions must have at least 14 days of decline in total net hospitalizations and deaths on a 3-day rolling average. In regions with few COVID cases, the region cannot exceed 15 net new total hospitalizations or 5 new deaths on a 3-day rolling average. In order to monitor the potential spread of infection in a region, a region must have fewer than two new COVID patients admitted per 100,000 residents per day.
- Health Care Capacity: Every region must have the health care capacity to handle a potential surge in cases. Regions must have at least 30 percent total hospital and ICU beds available. This is coupled with the new requirement that hospitals have at least 90 days of personal protective equipment stockpiled.
- Diagnostic Testing Capacity: Each region must have the capacity to conduct 30 diagnostic tests for every 1,000 residents per month. The state is rapidly expanding capacity statewide to help all regions meet this threshold.
- Contact Tracing Capacity: Regions must have a baseline of 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 residents, and additional tracers based on the projected number of cases in the region.
Once a region meets these requirements, it will then permitted to commence its reopening consisting of:
- Manufacturing and wholesale supply chain
- Select retail using curbside pickup only
- Professional services
- Finance and insurance
- Administrative support
- Real estate and rental leasing
- Restaurants and food service
- Hotels and accommodations
Of the seven criteria set by New York State as a prerequisite for begin Phase One of the reopening, our region - Long Island - is currently meeting only two
- Arts, entertainment and recreation
Suffolk County Specific Data:
Therefore, it is essential that we remain vigilant about following guidelines that slow the spread of COVID-19 and its suffering.
CDC Guidance for:
Suffolk County Forward
The necessary and life-saving decision to shut down much of the nation and our state’s economic activity has severely impacted the business community, particularly small business owners and our downtowns. In response, Suffolk County has launched the Suffolk County Forward initiative to help support our small businesses.
The effort consists of:
- Suffolk County Forward: Small Business Consulting – In partnership with Stony Brook University’s NYS Small Business Development Center and its Colleges of Business and of Engineering and Applied Sciences these programs bring the most hard-hit businesses free resources to help with technology and marketing and to drive revenue.
- Technology & Marketing Consulting - Suffolk businesses can identify their business technology needs (including payment, marketing, virtual shopping, etc.). Teams of SBU business, computer science and IT students under the direction of faculty will assess the tech needs of each business and advise the owners on how to implement those technologies.
- Suffolk Forward "Pandemic Shift" Business Workshops - Series of four 90 minute video workshops and peer support to help Suffolk small businesses deal with four key steps: hope, survival, focus and pivot. Coordinated by the Stony Brook University College of Business. Approximately 20 businesses in each cohort going through the program.
- Suffolk Forward Virtual Expert Network - individual Suffolk small businesses can sign-up to get free individualized advice via virtual "office hours" with Stony Brook University College of Business professors on areas of critical business need such as marketing, finance, etc.; https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/business/about/_COV19-for-Business/.
- Suffolk County Forward: Gift Card Platform – Created by Huntington-based technology company eGifter, this portal provides one stop shopping to allow Suffolk residents to support Suffolk retail and services businesses by pre-purchasing their goods/services. Free to businesses to participate. Simply log on and register your business here: https://local.egifter.com/county/new-york/suffolk-county.
The program is available to those small businesses in sectors that were hardest-hit based on the Business Response Unit (BRU) survey results. These sectors include restaurant, retail and construction.
Any business interested in the the gift card program can -and should - sign up for the gift card program online at https://local.egifter.com/county/new-york/suffolk-county. Residents can also go and buy a gift card to support small businesses too!
Suffolk County Provides Provides Businesses with Guidance on Reopening Best Practices
As our region prepares to reopen its economy, Suffolk County has complied a document of local and national resources to assist various industry sectors and businesses in safely operating and reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information is subject to change and based on best practices by industry professionals to protect public health.
Compassion Fatigue Training Available for First Responders
The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence is offering FREE compassion fatigue trainings for first responders. Trainings sessions are scheduled for:
- May 14th, 5-6PM
- May 27th, 1-2PM
- June 6th, 10-11 AM
To join one of these trainings, please visit www.licadd.org/ceu-trainings.
LI Cares Fights Hunger from Stony Brook Distribution Center
Long Island Cares has established a food distribution center in our community to assist area residents in need of food. The Stony Brook Distribution Center runs on Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship At Stony Brook, 380 Nicolls Road in Setauket.
Creativity Bags Supply Drive Scheduled for May 9th
The Social Brain and the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce are teaming up for a Creativity Bags Supply Drive on Saturday at the Chamber’s Rose Avenue Train Car. Items being collected are:
- Art supplies
- School supplies
- Small games
- Word search game books
- Decks of cards
All supplies donated will be used to make bags for brain injury survivors. For more information call: 631-794-4311.
Reopening our economy will require the efforts of hundreds of contact tracers in our region. As a result, New York State will hire and train a team of staff working remotely to support the NYS Department of Health and Local Health Departments to perform COVID-19 contact tracing in communities across NYS. If you are interested in serving your community in this capacity, please visit https://careers-pcgus.icims.com/jobs/5244/contact-tracer/job to learn more about this opportunity.
Share the Road, Save a Life
Now that we are entering into the warmer months - and especially with the dramatic increase in the number of people taking daily walks as a result of COVID-19 - it is important to remind both pedestrians and drivers of the need to share the road. The following selection of recommendations and laws have been are being highlighted to help keep our roads safe:
- Pedestrians have the right of way in all crosswalks and at intersections with marked or unmarked crosswalks.
- A pedestrian has the right of way when the pedestrian signal shows a steady “Walk” sign or person symbol.
- A pedestrian should not cross the road if a “Don’t Walk” sign or upraised hand symbol is steady.
- When a “Don’t Walk” sign or upraised hand symbol is flashing, pedestrians who have already begun crossing the street should continue to the other side. Pedestrians who have not yet begun to cross the street should wait until the next “Walk” cycle.
- Where sidewalks are provided and they can be used safely, pedestrians must use the sidewalk instead of walking in the road.
- Pedestrians should walk on the shoulder facing oncoming traffic because it makes them more visible to motorists and helps them stay aware of traffic. Stay as far to the left as possible.
For additional information, please visit: https://www.ny.gov/pedestrian-safety/additional-information.
Residents who have questions related to COVID-19 should continue to visit the County website: www.SuffolkCountyNY.gov or call Suffolk 3-1-1 (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.