County Executive Announces Shift to Mitigation Strategy to Deal with COVID-19
County Executive Announces Suffolk County Transit to Implement Rear-Door Boarding for Fixed Route Service Starting Monday
Suffolk Transit Customers Encouraged to go Cashless by Purchasing Tickets through the Suffolk FastFare Mobile App
County Executive Announces Facebook Town Hall Tomorrow at 6:30 PM at Facebook.com/SteveBellone
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today provided an update on the County’s comprehensive response to combat and contain the spread of COVID-19, along with an update on the number of patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the County.
"We have seen a dramatic increase in the numbers of confirmed patients of COVID-19, and that is not a surprise as we have seen a corresponding increase in testing," said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. "As the County shifts to a mitigation strategy, we need the public to adhere to the guidance even as we are taking a number of actions to help protect workers. Each of us has a role to play to stop the spread of this virus and keep people safe.”
As of 1:00 PM on Sunday, March 22, the Suffolk County Health Department had confirmed a total of 962 individuals in Suffolk County who had tested positive for Coronavirus. Additionally, to date, there have been 12 confirmed deaths in the County related to COVID-19. To receive the most up to date daily reports, resident can click here, or visit www.suffolkcountyny.gov/covid19.
As the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the County continues to rise, County Executive Bellone announced a shift to a mitigation strategy rather than a containment strategy to deal with COVID-19 and best direct County resources. As part of the mitigation strategy, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services will continue to contact individuals with a positive COVID-19 test result to provide guidance. As a result of the rising cases, the Department has released updated guidance on its webpage and is encouraging all residents to familiarize themselves with and follow this guidance when necessary.
If a patient is waiting on a test result for COVID-2019, he or she should stay home and isolate themselves from other household members. Once a patient receives a result, the patient should inform their household members that they are to be quarantined for 14 days from contact. Additionally, once a patient receives a positive test result, the patient should inform any close contact he or she had while experiencing symptoms. These contacts should quarantine themselves for 14 days since the day they had contact with the symptomatic patient. Residents looking for additional guidance can visit www.suffolkcountyny.gov/suffolkcovid.
In line with recent measures taken by the MTA, County Executive Bellone today announced new policies to protect Suffolk Transit workers amid the Coronavirus outbreak. Starting tomorrow, the County will implement a rear-door boarding policy on fixed route bus service, and will be isolating the first few rows of the bus to create a safe social distance between the riders and the driver.
Additionally, the County Executive encouraged all Suffolk Transit customers to go cashless with the Suffolk FastFare Mobile App to help limit contact between the driver and passengers. The app, which is available for download in both the Apple Store and Google Play, is available for use on all Suffolk County Transit buses and allows riders to easily purchase tickets on their smartphones anytime, anywhere. Passengers using Suffolk FastFare can pay for tickets using a credit or debit card, or via digital payment services such as Apple Pay.
In an effort to better connect with residents and provide transparent and factual information, County Executive Bellone announced he would be hosting a Facebook Town Hall tomorrow at 6:30 PM. The town hall will provide a forum for residents to ask questions and hear the latest information and guidance regarding the Coronavirus. For updates and to tune into this event, residents should visit www.Facebook.com/SteveBellone.
While the County Executive has directed the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning to work with the Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing, and Consumer Affairs to create a Business Response Plan to support local businesses, many of these businesses need financial relief now. Today, County Executive Bellone called on the Federal Government to provide direct financial relief to small businesses during this outbreak to keep workers employed and businesses afloat.
Finally, County Executive Bellone reminded residents that the Suffolk County Supply Drive for Personal Protective Equipment begins tomorrow. Those wishing to make a donation can do so from Monday to Friday between the hours of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM at the Suffolk County Fire Academy, located at 102 East Avenue in Yaphank. The County is look for donations of N95 masks, ear loop face masks, gowns and gloves.
Residents who have questions related to the COVID-19 should continue to visit the county website, www.SuffolkCountyNY.gov 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.
Residents can also sign up for SMS text messages through their mobile devices to receive updates on the latest information, health guidance and other developments relating to the coronavirus. Residents should text COVIDSUFFOLK to 67283 to enroll.
VIDEO of the County Executive's Remarks can be Found Here