Over the weekend we learned that the first confirmed case of coronavirus was identified and being treated at Southampton Hospital. Media outlets have reported that the patient being treated originated at Eastern Long Island Hospital and was transferred to Southampton Hospital. We have received assurances from Hospital officials that the individual is, and has been, in isolation in the hospital and all necessary precautions have been taken as part of their plan. We are hopeful that this individual continues to improve in condition and turns into another survival success story.
Unrelated to the presence of the confirmed coronavirus case at the hospital, is the arrival of university students at the Stony Brook Southampton campus form Europe. The State brought these students back to remove them from areas of heightened concern for coronavirus overseas. All of these students were screened multiple times before arriving at the campus and none of them have any signs or symptoms of the coronavirus. Their removal from overseas and current isolation at the Stony Brook Southampton campus is being done out of an abundance of caution by the State and not the result of any of them being sick. The site and students are being monitored by SUNY, as well as County Health officials. We have confidence in the site security and monitoring plans of State and County. Although we share in the sentiments of our residents, in that we wish this was not occurring here, we do not fear for any increased risk to the community based on the plans indicated to us.
The Town is carefully and constantly monitoring the regional and local coronavirus situation. We are in regular communication with our counterparts in other townships and have been continuously reaching out to try and ascertain the most current information possible from State and County officials. We are in the process of trying to acquire additional sanitizing supplies for our staff and facilities, as well as other protective supplies. The best protection, however, is good hygiene and social distancing. We have encouraged this with our employees and encourage the same with all the residents of the Town. Members of vulnerable populations, like the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions that might compromise their immune system, are strongly encouraged to limit social interactions and take extra precautions during this time. Following these steps as a whole community will decrease our community risk:
- MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING: maintain at least three feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE: hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth, which can then enter the body and make you sick.
- PRACTICE RESPIRATORY HYGIENE: this means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue immediately.
- KEEP WORK/PUBLIC SPACES CLEAN: regularly wipe downs desks, counter surfaces, tables etc. with disinfecting spray or wipes.
- STAY HOME IF YOU FEEL UNWELL: if you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. Call the doctor in advance and stay isolated.
* Remember: the most effective preventative measure is frequent and thorough handwashing. *
Keep these steps in mind, do not panic and become educated about the coronavirus by examining information provided by the CDC and health officials. Together we can work to reduce our community risk and stay healthy. For additional information or if you have specific questions or concerns, 311 has been activated by the County to attempt to address resident issues. Residents with questions may dial 311 during business hours for additional information.