CV-19 Update

23 March 2020

Thursday Morning, May 21

 

 

 

NEW THURSDAY MORNINGWe’re at a critical moment in our battle against the coronavirus, as we take steps to slowly begin opening parts of our state, while we address the very real threat still posed in some communities and nursing home/adult care facilities. As we begin to take steps forward, we can never forget that our continued success is wholly based on our own behavior and actions. Now is not the moment to say “we’ve got this,” and stop doing the things that are saving us from the hell we’ve just been through. This is where we need to be strong, and soldier on, or we risk losing everything we’ve fought so hard for. 

Expanded antibody testing of first responders and frontline workers shows conclusively protective gear and clean hygiene measures can keep us safe. Antibody testing of first responders across the region and in different occupations consistently had a lower percentage of positive results than the general population. So please wear a mask in public, it makes us all safer, and it’s not my opinion or anyone else’s; it’s a fact. 

New testing results unveiled today show that communities of color continue to be disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, with areas in the outer boroughs of NYC still experiencing very high positive rates and gross new hospitalization rates. To combat these hot zones, the state is doubling testing programs in these impacted communities, and partnering with houses of worship and community based providers to establish additional testing sites in predominantly minority neighborhoods. The state will also be working with Northwell Health and SOMOS community care to deliver PPE, hand sanitizer, and public health education to these impacted communities. 

We must continue to be realistic with ourselves and one-another about the recovery and reopening process if we’re going to succeed in this fight together. Recovery won’t travel a straight line--and that’s okay, and it’s expected. Today, Long Island slid back slightly on the reopening dashboard, now with 4/7 metrics met. We previously met the threshold for the number of beds available, but that number is now too low to qualify. At this point, the Capital Region, Central New York, the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier, and Western New York are all in Phase 1 reopenings, with Long Island, Mid-Hudson, and NYC still works-in-progress. 

Beginning today, religious gatherings of no more than 10 people will be allowed statewide where strict social distancing measures are enforced and all participants wear masks. Drive-in and parking lot services are also being encouraged as we seek to find new ways to safely experience different aspects of our lives. The State is also convening a new Interfaith Advisory Council that will discuss proposals to safely bring back religious services. Our community is well-represented on the council by our very own Bishop Lionel Harvey of First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury and Dr. Isma Chaudhry of the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury. 

Following a spike in domestic violence during the pandemic, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa announced the creation of a new task force to find innovative solutions to this crisis. The task force will identify solutions to help domestic violence survivors, with the specific goal of looking beyond the traditional ways that services have been provided in the past. The group will make recommendations by Thursday, May 28th.

In the last 24 hours, 38,097 people statewide were tested for coronavirus, with 1,525 positive results. In Nassau, 2,281 were tested with 73 new positives.

As of Monday, 39,368 Nassau County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, with 564 currently hospitalized, 178 in the ICU, 142 intubated, and 48 new discharges. Statewide, 354,370 New Yorkers have tested positive, with 5,570 currently hospitalized, 1,761 in the ICU, 1,421 intubated, and 456 new discharges. Statewide, there were 295 new hospital admissions due to Covid-19.

We lost another 112 New Yorkers to the coronavirus since yesterday, including residents of Nassau County. This brings the total number of our friends and neighbors lost to 22,976 statewide, and 2,065 in Nassau.  

 

 

 

Small Business Support

 

This Friday from 10-11:30am, Newsday will be holding a webinar on small business emergency survival. "Keeping Your Business Afloat During These Challenging Times," a panel of financial, business and legal experts will be available to update you on the latest developments in federal, state and other resources for small businesses, and ways to deal with business and legal issues precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, hosted by SCORE NYC. The webinar is free, and you can register now by clicking here

The National SBDC (Small Business Development Center) Information Clearing House has extensive, industry-specific resources to help your small business weather the coronavirus outbreak and navigate a safe reopening. There’s information, guidance, tools, and support for a wide variety of businesses, from restaurants, to retailers, to service businesses, manufacturers, and so much more. Check it out at https://www.sbdcnet.org/industry-links/covid-19-industry-resources

As New York begins Phase 1 reopening of some regions across the state, the Governor’s Office has created yet another helpful online tool to help you navigate the reopening process. The New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool will help you determine whether or not your business is eligible to reopen. Check it out at https://www.businessexpress.ny.gov/app/nyforward  

New York Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering free remote counseling sessions with business advisers. Get assistance with how to start a business, the small-business loan application process and more. You must schedule an appointment, and you can do so by calling at 800-732-7232, or visiting nysbdc.org/appointment.html

 

 

 

Federal Action

 

The CDC posted a detailed guidance document for reopening schools, mass transit, and nonessential businesses. The plan outlines a three-phased approach for reducing social distancing and proposes the use of six “gating” indicators to assess when to move through to another phase. The guidance recommends that schools remain closed in the first phase, along with most child-care programs, and bars, and that restaurants should be limited to takeout only. They also recommend that mass transit remain closed to all but essential workers in the first phase. You can read the full guidance document at: https://www.scribd.com/document/462266428/CDC-Activities-Initiatives-for-COVID-19-Response#fullscreen&from_embed

The National Federation of State High School Associations released a 16 page guidance document titled “Guidance for State Associations to Consider in Re-opening High School Athletics and Other Activities,” outlining protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. It advises that high school sports return in three phases. In the first, there are highly modified practices in lower- and moderate-risk sports. Only in the third phase do higher-risk sports like football, wrestling and competitive cheerleading begin competition. Now common practices like social distancing, disinfecting equipment and donning face coverings wherever possible are central in each phase. You can read the full guidance document at https://www.nfhs.org/media/3812287/2020-nfhs-guidance-for-opening-up-high-school-athletics-and-activities-nfhs-smac-may-15_2020-final.pdf 

 

 

 

State Action

 

The MTA/Long Island Railroad is testing out groundbreaking antimicrobial disinfectant solutions that provide a protective barrier against contamination, potentially killing the coronavirus on surfaces for 30-90 days in one application. There are multiple products from multiple companies currently being tested, and they’re part of a comprehensive approach the railroad is taking to find long-term solutions to safety on trains and subways. 

To help get the message across about wearing masks, the Governor and the State launched a contest asking New Yorkers to create a video and share in their own words why New Yorkers should wear masks in public. After receiving over 600 great submissions, five finalists have been selected. The winning video will be chosen by an online vote and will be used as a PSA. Watch the videos and vote for your favorite here: wearamask.ny.gov

 

 

 

Local Action

 

NCPD and SCPD are both reporting major spikes in stolen cars, and theft of objects from inside cars during the pandemic. The advice here is simple, folks: don’t ever leave your car unlocked, and don’t ever leave the keys inside! That’s how these things happen in almost every case, so you literally hold the key to prevention.

Nassau County took the prudent step today of restricting access to Nickerson Beach to county residents only. The emergency measure was adopted after the NYC Mayor refused to take steps to open city beaches, and instead suggested the 9 million residents of the city should overwhelm our recreation areas on Long Island.  

The Town of Oyster Bay has restricted beach access to residents-only, and free beach parking is offered to senior citizens, the disabled, and those on social security disability with new procedures in place to get your pass. To protect your health and safety during this COVID-19 pandemic, you will simply be asked to show your driver’s license and registration from behind the window when visiting the beach for the first time this season. A parking sticker will then be adhered to your vehicle to ensure continued free access upon future arrival through the established Express Lane. 

Many pets are available for adoption at the Town of Oyster Bay Animal Shelter. Visit the ‘Town of Oyster Bay’ on Facebook to learn more about available pets. Interested in adoption? Call us at (516) 677-5784.

Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the entire Town Board unanimously approved resolutions designed to help businesses impacted by Covid-19. The package of legislation will be eligible for a vote on June 18th and includes proposals like refunds for certain building department fees, extended hours for commercial construction, local preference in contracting, and expanded opportunity for outdoor seating for restaurants. Learn more at https://northhempsteadny.gov/qcontent/NewsFeed.aspx?FeedID=2778&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

 

 

 

Things That We Would Only Ever Be Talking About in 2020

 

There have been a lot of strange things that we’ve discovered about ourselves and the world around us as we’ve rapidly shifted to living very different lives than we’re accustomed to. One thing we’re being reminded today is to let nature take its course. 

Volunteer wildlife rehabilitators in Nassau County have been flooded with calls over the past two months from people going out and experiencing nature in new ways, and becoming concerned with the things they’re finding. They’re warning residents that if you see a baby animal, like a tiny baby bird or newborn baby bunnies huddled on the ground, please don’t touch them. They probably aren’t hurt or in distress, just learning their way around a strange new world just like us.  

 

 

 

Image removed by sender.

My Coronavirus Community Resource Page is now live at coronavirus.senatorkaplan.com! There's lots of great information including what restaurants are open in our community for delivery, what government services have changed, and where to go if you need help with something during this difficult time. Check it out!

 

Resources

 

 

 

This is only a snapshot of the full resources available to our community during this difficult time. To see the full resource guide, visit coronavirus.senatorkaplan.com

Cancer Services Program of Nassau County provides breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings at no cost to men and women who do not have health insurance, and people whose health insurance doesn’t cover the cost of these screenings, regardless of immigration status. Staying healthy right now doesn’t just mean from coronavirus: please consider getting a cancer screening today in a safe environment with all necessary precautions being taken to protect your health. For more information, call 516-470-4165, email csp@northwell.edu, or check “Cancer Services Program of Nassau County” on Facebook. 

FABULOUS: Port Washington residents Dr. Lauren Block and Adam Block PhD created a beautifully illustrated e-book for kids aged 4-11 to help them make sense of the coronavirus and the world we’re living in today. The book is called “Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus” and its available FREE for download to anyone who is interested. If you have children in your family, visit https://www.kellystayshome.com/ and check it out!

There are now over 700 locations statewide where New Yorkers can get diagnostic testing, and in order to make sure more New Yorkers are getting tested, Governor Cuomo has further relaxed the criteria for who can get a test and created some helpful online resources. 

  • If you are concerned you might need a test, but you’re not sure if you meet the criteria, take the online self-assessment at https://covid19screening.health.ny.gov/ 
  • *Note: In Nassau County, all workers interacting with the public are now eligible to receive diagnostic testing, whether you have symptoms or not.*
  • To locate a testing site near you, visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you and enter your address to view a list and a map view of the nearest testing sites. The state has also partnered with Google Maps to display testing site results when you search "COVID testing near me" on Google Maps.
  • Please remember you must always schedule an appointment to get a COVID-19 diagnostic test by calling 1-888-364-3065 or your healthcare provider.

Amid an uptick in domestic violence incidents, NYS has launched a new 24/7 texting program and confidential online service to help abuse victims safely interact with the Domestic Violence hotline without being overheard by their abuser. If you’re in an unsafe situation, know that you’re not alone, and you’re not trapped. There is help—text 844-997-2121 or visit opdv.ny.gov. You can also call the Safe Center here in Nassau County 24/7 at (516) 542-0404

 

 

 

How You Can Help

 

 

 

There are many more ways to help-visit coronavirus.senatorkaplan.com for the full list.  

New York State is seeking highly trained technologists to assist with our Covid-19 Technology SWAT team. Individuals from leading global technology companies are being deployed across high-impact and urgent coronavirus response activities across a range of functions, including Web/Mobile Development, Data Science/Analytics, End User Support and Digital Content Strategy. Individuals, technology companies, universities, nonprofits, research labs, and other organizations with technology expertise are invited to submit an expression of interest. Learn more at https://www.ny.gov/programs/new-york-state-covid-19-technology-swat-team

Frontline Foods is now in Nassau County and they need donations to do their great work supporting our local restaurants and our healthcare heroes. This innovative nonprofit organization takes your 100% tax-deductible donation, uses it to purchase food at local restaurants in our community, and brings the food to our healthcare heroes in local hospitals. Visit https://www.frontlinefoods.org/nassaucounty to learn more and make a donation.

Supplies of donated blood continue to be critically low, and anyone who can donate should do so. If you are interested in donating blood, please contact New York Blood Center at 800-688-0900.

In order to help research effective treatments for Coronavirus, plasma donations are needed from people who tested positive for coronavirus but have since resolved and gotten better. Your plasma will be used to help save lives of ill patients using the convalescent plasma method, and you can learn more and donate by visiting https://www.nybc.org/donate-blood/convalescent-plasma/

Please, take a few minutes today and fill out the census right away if you haven’t yet done so. Visit my2020census.gov or call 844-330-2020 and do your part to help NY get its fair share.

To help support our First Responders, New York created the First Responders Fund. The fund will assist COVID-19 health care workers and first responders with expenses and costs, including child care. The State Department of Health is accepting donations for the fund, and received an anchor $10 million contribution from Blackstone. Donations can be made electronically at www.healthresearch.org/donation-form

 

 

 

We're All In This Together

 

 

 

As always, if there’s any way I can be of assistance to you and your family as we navigate these difficult times, please contact me at 516-746-5924 or kaplan@nysenate.gov.

If you don’t already get this newsletter delivered straight to your inbox each day, but would like to, sign up at https://www.nysenate.gov/questionnaires/anna-m-kaplan/sign-receive-nassau-coronavirus-email-updates 

Thank you for allowing me the privilege of being your Senator.

Sincerely,

Senator Anna M. Kaplan