Coronavirus

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information & Resources

 This page will be updated frequently with helpful links regarding the virus, resources for aide, and activities to do while home. Keep checking back for new information!

Virus Information 

Contact Tracers Needed: New York is expanding it’s contact tracing initiative and is looking for people who can help. The aim of this initiative will be to call every person diagnosed with COVID-19, establish all contacts of this person, and proceed to call and maintain ongoing communication with every contact. In addition, the team will support the isolation and quarantine of individuals, as appropriate in cooperation with the local health departments. This includes virtual needs checks and referral to community resources as needed. If you are interested in assisting in this effort, click the link to apply.

SBU COVID-19 Clinical Trial: Stony Brook University Hospital has been approved for a COVID-19 clinical trial and is looking for people who have recovered from Coronavirus to donate plasma (like a blood donation). If you or someone you know has recovered from Coronavirus and would be willing to donate please fill out the online form.

As of 5/28, with Phase 1 of reopening, Assemblyman Joe DeStefano is offering free hand sanitizer to those in need. Available at his office located at 1735 North Ocean Avenue, Suite A in Medford, they have 2oz personal spray bottles as well as gallon jugs for any establishments that may be in need, while supplies last. There is staff in the office Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm. Please wear a face mask when entering our office. For more information call 631-207-0073.

Text COVIDSUFFOLK to 67283 to receive the latest developments and health guidance.

Mobile Virus Testing Site: Legislator Sunderman has announced a mobile testing site at Stony Brook University Hospital. Residents can call for appointments, 1-888-364-3065.   When calling,  please  identify yourself as a Suffolk County resident and tell them you need an appointment for the coronavirus test. You must call and schedule an appointment, you can not just drive in!

Additional Testing Sites Opened: Additional testing sites have opened up in the hard hit communities of Riverhead, Brentwood, Huntington, Wyandanch, North Amityville, and Coram. These sites are being run by HRHCare Community Health and appointments can be set up by calling 845-553-8030.

Virus Testing at Clinics: Please be advised that all clinics ask that you call ahead or book an appointment online if you have symptoms of COVID-19. The following walk-in clinics are offering COVID-19 testing; CityMD (multiple locations across LI), LI Urgent Care in West Babylon and Manorville, Patchogue Urgen Care, Excel Urgent Care in Nesconset and East Northport, Northwell Health-Go Health Urgent Care (multiple locations across LI), CareMed (multiple locations across LI, including Patchogue), American Family Care in West Islip.

Rite Aid Virus Testing Sites: Rite Aid will be setting up two test sites in Suffolk County at their stores located in Shirley and Centereach. Testing will begin on Monday 5/11 and appointments will begin scheduling on Sunday, May 10th using the Rite Aid website.  Instead of using tents located in parking lots like previously done, patients will arrive and come through the pharmacy drive through where they will receive a test kit through the drive through drawer. Testing will be completed in the confines of the patient’s car, utilizing self swab nasal tests, sealed by the patient, and then handed back to the Rite Aid pharmacists through the drawer. Alternatively, some sites may use a drop box type kiosk for testing to be deposited and collected by Rite Aid personnel to minimize contact.

CDC (Center for Disease Control) Coronavirus Disease: For up to date statistics and information regarding symptoms, Preparations and more.

Face Masks:The CDC is now recommending that when in public, people where a face mask to protect themselves and others. Face masks are understandably hard to come by right now but the link provides both no-sew and sewing instructions for making your own mask as well as further information regarding their use.

Suffolk County Department of Health COVID-19 Information: For up to date information regarding the virus, measures being taken and more.

NYS Department of Health Novel Coronavirus: For up to date information on statewide measures being taken to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

311: Call 311 and speak to a live agent that can help you with emergency food services as well as provide free masks to those over 60 who are in need.

211 Long Island: 211 Long Island is a non-emergency health and human services referral resource. If you or anyone you know is in need of food, shelter, financial assistance or any other type of support, 211 Long Island is there to help. Call 2-1-1 anytime, 24/7, and a caring call specialist will be there to provide referrals to resources across Long Island.

Health and Welfare Council of Long Island: HWCLI is providing a variety of useful resources and assistance during this time. They are helping to link people with emergency food services, signing up for SNAP and WIC,  as well as provide navigation via phone of the Healthcare Marketplace as well as Medicaid and Child Health Plus, and other crucial services during this time.

Youth Webinars: Hofstra University Associate Professor of Public Health is offering free webinars to aide Elementary, Middle and High School students in understanding COVID-19 using medically accurate and age appropriate content. While the primary audience are children and youth, I welcome parents/guardians, teachers, counselors, school administrators, and anyone who is interested in getting information on the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.

Sesame Street- Health Emergencies: Sesame Street has created a page to help discuss health emergencies with your child. They provide short Sesame Street videos, printables, activities and advice to help enforce healthy habits, aide in discussion with children, and support them emotionally.

CNN/Sesame Street Coronavirus Town Hall: Watch the recording of this informational town hall for parents and kids regarding the Coronavirus. It covers the basics of what is Coronavirus, as well as topics such as face masks, washing hands, dealing with big feelings, spending so much time home, and more. Help your children to understand what’s happening and answer some questions they may have.

Coronavirus Misinformation: A non-partisan website fact-checking news regarding Coronavirus.

COVID-19 Scams: Unfortunately, in these times of crisis, there are always people looking to take advantage of the situation. Please be cautious regarding any calls, texts or emails dealing with novel Coronavirus. Beware of pressuring emails claiming to be from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other attempts to ‘phish’ for personal information. Ignore online promotional items regarding cures for COVID-19. There are currently NO vaccines or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure COVID-19 online or in stores. Avoid organizations and other groups pressuring you into donating via cash, gift cards, wire transfer or prepaid money card. Be cautious of anyone going door to door offering COVID-19 testing or temperature readings and requesting personal information.

Coronavirus Rumor Control: FEMA created this page to help everyone distinguish fact from fiction when it comes to COVID-19. They recommend you do your part to stop the spread of rumors by finding trusted sources of information, share information from trusted sources and discourage others from sharing information from trusted sources.

Suffolk County Police Department has established a hotline for reporting COVID-19 Scams. Call 631-852-SCAM(7226) to report any scam attempts. Information provided will be vetted by a police officer and transferred to the Criminal Intelligence Unit to track trends. Depending on the information reported, a victim may be contacted by precinct detectives or Financial Crimes Unit detectives to conduct a follow-up investigation.

Domestic Violence Text and Chat: For many people out there, home can be a dangerous place. If you or someone you know is suffering from Domestic Violence, these text and chat services are available 24/7 to confidentially report cases of abuse. Text 844-997-2121 or go to the website to report abuse or the abuser.

NY State Elections: The Democratic Presidential Primary in New York has been cancelled. For all other elections taking place on June 23rd, voters will be mailed an absentee ballot application with a postage paid envelope so they have the opportunity to vote by mail.

To aide in slowing the spread and maintaining social distancing, in Brookhaven town all 75 playgrounds, all town basketball, tennis, pickleball, handball and volleyball courts are closed to the public until further notice and sale of resident stickers has been suspended until further notice as well. New York State Parks remain open for solitary walks or hikes — but you must keep six feet of distance from others.

Library Resources

Free Wi-Fi in Library Parking Lot: The library is pleased to announce that we have expanded our WiFi access throughout the library parking lot. If you or someone you know is in need of internet access, come by anytime. There is no password, just connect to our network and agree to the wireless policy. We expect all users (whether by car, bike or on foot) to follow social distancing protocols at all times or we will be unable to continue the service. If you experience any difficulties, please contact us via email, chat or phone.

Our Seed Library is still open. E-mail us at seeds@sctylib.org with your name, address, library card and a list of seeds you’d prefer and we’ll mail them to your home. There’s a limit of 5 per month and we ask that you understand that you may not get the seeds you requested as quantities and varieties are limited.

Get a Library Card: Even though our building is closed, you can still get a card number that you can use for our online services. Fill out the form and receive a temporary card that will be good for 90 days. This link can also be used if you have lost your card.

Click here to to check out all of the free digital services available through the library with your library card including e-books, audio-books, movies, television shows, magazines and more.

Click here for library resources including access to Ancestry, newspapers, Consumer Reports, and educational resources such as Brainfuse.

Click here to check out videos of storytimes, songs and activities from our Children’s Staff.

Click here to check out all of the virtual YA programs, including book discussions, coding programs and Escape the Room challenges, as well as community service opportunities.

Click here for virtual programs from the Adult/Reference Department as well as services available to adults during this time.

Library Budget and Board of Trustees Election: The library board has voted to cancel this year’s proposed budget vote which was scheduled for April 7, 2020. and decided that there will be no increase in library taxes for the coming fiscal year due to the hardship and financial impact of the pandemic on our community.  As for the trustee election, all voting will be by Absentee Ballot only as per Executive Order 202.26.  Absentee Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters of the South Country Central School District on May 28, 2020.  Ballots may be returned by mail or deposited in a secure drop box provided by the District in front of the District Office located at 189 N. Dunton Avenue, East Patchogue, NY, each weekday beginning June 1, 2020 from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm and on June 9, 2020 from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. The Ballot will contain the Budget Proposition and Trustee Election for South Country Central School District along with the Trustee Election for South Country Library.  Please note the instructions on the Absentee Ballot. Ballots must be received by the District Clerk by 5:00 pm on June 9, 2020. Questions can be directed to the District Clerk by phone at 631-730-1542 or email to cflynn@southcountry.org.

Business, Legal & Financial Assistance

Free COVID-19 Legal Help: Touro Law School is offering this useful helpline to assist with a wide range of legal issues arising from the COVID-19 epidemic. Fill out the intake form and a volunteer attorney and/or law student will be in touch with you shortly during their hours Monday-Friday from 10am to 2pm.

If you are an essential worker in need of assistance finding childcare, contact the Child Care Council of Suffolk hotline at 646-926-3784.

Bellport Boys and Girls Club is providing child care services to healthcare professionals, law enforcement, and other mandated government workers. Please know their site is under strict CDC guidelines and will be screening all who qualify for clearance. Email Miss. Shawnte Carter-Okojie at shawnte@bgcbellport.org

Tax deadline extended: You will have until July 15 to file taxes, IRS is allowing you more time to file and pay your Federal Taxes without penalty. This applies to NYS taxes as well, which follow the Federal Tax guidelines.

Unemployment Waiting Period Waived: NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines. Also, work search requirements have been waives as well, so you do not need to prove you are searching for employment to make a claim.

Small Business Loans: Important information on Economic Injury Disaster Loans which are available for small businesses. Go to diasterloan.sba.gov to apply.

Business Recovery Unit: The Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning has put together this page for businesses to be a One Stop for Business questions and resources related to impacts as a result of COVID-19.

Mortgage Payments: A 90-day mortgage relief period as been executed to ease the financial strain on New Yorker’s during this time. Mortgage payments will be waived for 90 days, with no negative reporting to credit bureaus, a grace period for loan modification, no late payment fees or online payments fees, as well as the postponement or suspension of foreclosure. All residential and commercial evictions have been suspended through August 20.

Bank Fees: Banks have been ordered to waive late fees and overdraft charges. Fees for ATM withdrawals and credit cards will be waived, too.

Paid Family Leave: If you are under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State of New York, the Department of Health, local Board of Health, or any government entity, you may qualify for Paid Family Leave, provided you are unable to work remotely or by other means.

UNITED TOGETHER: A Response Fund for COVID-19: United Way of Long Island is accepting applications for assistance from low-income wage earners who have become unemployed or furloughed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit their website to fill out an application.

Financial Survival Toolkit for New Yorkers: This page is from the NYS Comptroller to help New York’s residents, government entities, nonprofits and businesses alike as they navigate these uncharted waters. They created this page of helpful resources and links to give you easy access to vital assistance and information you need at this time.

Until at least June 20th, there is a moratorium on the eviction of residential and commercials renters, per an executive order signed by Governor Cuomo several weeks ago. If you or someone you know is being evicted illegally, you can call 311 to report any illegal evictions.

Suffolk County Virtual Career and Talent Portal: This new virtual job board will serve as a one-stop-shop, providing Suffolk County residents with access to regional job opportunities and businesses with a pool of talented applicants searching for new employment opportunities. Jobseekers can research the local job market, view local opportunities, build resumes and cover letters, and analyze their skills. Employers can search for resumes, connect with local jobseekers, post specific targeted opportunities, and get an overview of the job market landscape.

Utility Information 

PSEG has suspended shut offs for non-payment and it is waiving late fees. It has also closed all customer service centers temporarily, but staff are working remotely, so customers can call 1-800-490-0025 or use their website psegliny.com.

National Grid has closed all customer centers until further notice. They are also temporarily suspending service disconnections through the end of April, at which time they will evaluate the need. Visit nationalgridus.com or call 1-800-930-5003 for more info.

Free Internet Access: For households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access, Optimum is offering their Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution for free for 60 days to any new customer household within our footprint. They have also added additional community hotspots that you can connect to throughout Long Island.

Free Data Plans/Upgrades: Mobile carriers have upgraded plans to unlimited data during this time including Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Comcast. Most have also waived fees and terminations during this time as well.

Education

Regents & Graduation: The NYS Department of Education announced that Regents exams for 2020 have been cancelled and have made modifications to the graduation requirements for this school year. The are also delaying the rollout of state assessments aligned to the grades 3-8 Next Generation Learning Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics for one year, to spring 2022. Similarly, the alignment of state assessments to the New York P-12 Science Learning Standards will begin in spring 2023. Further, the state extended its current Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Testing contract by one year.

Federal Student Loan Relief: To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers can be placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment.

South Country Central School District: As mandated by Governor Cuomo, schools will be closed through at least April 15, they will reassess at that time. Keep up to date with what’s going on in the school district and access their “continuity of learning” page for resources to continue your child’s education during this time.

AP Courses Assistance: Information on daily AP courses, as well as links to  free, live AP Review courses, delivered by AP teachers around the country through College Board, and other important information about this years exams.

The Great Courses: Kanopy and Overdrive both provide access to college level learning through The Great Courses.

Food Services 

Free Groceries: The Long Island Cares Mobile Pantry will be in our library parking lot on the second Monday from June to August from 11am-12pm to provide free groceries to those in need, while supplies last.

Shopping Hours for Seniors: Stop and Shop has reserved the hours of 6am-7:30am exclusively for customers 60 years of age and older. Other stores with Senior Hours include Walmart, Target, Uncle Guiseppe’s, Giunta’s Meat Farms, Dollar General, and BJ’s.

Cirillo’s Market Bellport IGA is offering free curbside grocery pickup for seniors and the disabled. Call 631-286-2772 to make arrangements.

Lighthouse Mission is providing free food delivery for homebound seniors in Brookhaven Town.  Please call 631-758-7584 to make arrangements.

Deer Run Farms is taking call-ahead orders for pickup at the door. Call 631-707-2195.

South Country School District Food Distribution: Distribution will occur Monday through Friday between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at the following locations: Bellport High School; · Frank P. Long Intermediate School;· Verne Critz Elementary School. Distribution will be “Grab-and-Go” with curb-side pickup to prevent group gatherings. Included in each grab-and-go will be two breakfast and two lunch meals. When you arrive at the site, simply state how many school-age children in your family, and you will be provided a two-day supply for each student.

Families in need of food who are self-quarantining, or, have difficulty with transportation to and from the pick-up locations may call (631) 730-1501 to request a home delivery. If you are leaving a voicemail message, please leave your home address, and, the number of school-age children in your home. You will only need to call once to be placed on the list for delivery.

This service is being provided for ANY family in need and we encourage all to take advantage of the food availability.

Federal Nutrition Programs: Information on any changes or services available through the Federal Nutrition Programs.

SNAP: A prolonged period without a paycheck can often mean the difference between choosing to eat, or pay other obligations. Island Harvest can provide free referrals and free assistance for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) over the phone and you don’t have to go to the Department of Social Services. They will walk you through the online application by phone or complete a short intake and submit the online application for you. Call 631-873-4775.

Town of Brookhaven Meals on Wheels Program: The meals on wheels program stands ready to bring groceries and meals to Seniors so that they don’t have to venture out. Reach out to Councilman Loguercio’s office at 631-451-6968 or email mloguercio@brookhavenny.gov to be connected to the Senior Citizen Division.

Long Island Care Food Distribution: Long Island Cares will perform Grab and Go breakfast to children and adults in need. Contact them for more information about where and when food distribution is happening.

Local Restaurants Offering Takeout/Delivery: Support local businesses during this difficult time by ordering takeout and delivery from area restaurants.

Bellport Country Club: Bellport Country Club is offering free food to those in need on many Fridays, as well as offering half-trays for purchasing to support this effort. Check out their Facebook page for updated information regarding if and when they are offering this service.

Free Rides to Local Pantries: Island Harvest has partnered with Lyft to provide free rides to those in need of transportation to local pantries and restaurants. If you or someone you know is in need of this services please call 1-516-805-1642.

Local Food Pantries: Island Harvest put together this list of local food pantries in Nassau and Suffolk, complete with addresses and phone numbers. Check back regularly as it changes often based on circumstances due to COVID-19.

Cooperation LI Food Resources: This a list of food organizations, pantries and groups doing food delivery on Long Island.

Health Insurance: NY State of Health, together with the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS),  announced that there is Special Enrollment Period available to New Yorkers during which eligible individuals will be able to enroll in insurance coverage through NY State of Health, New York’s official health plan Marketplace, and directly through insurers.

Special Enrollment Period for Healthcare: Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, New York has opened a special enrollment period for its healthcare marketplace that extends until April 15.

A Blog About Fear: a blog entry regarding COVID-19 from the  Executive Director of the Association for Mental Health and Wellness.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty: Information from the American Foundation for suicide prevention on coping with this crisis. If you’re feeling alone and struggling, you can also reach out to The Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741 or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Information for people struggling with addiction or mental health issues and how they may be affected by COVID-19.

Domestic Violence Text and Chat: Victims of Domestic Violence can use these tools as a confidential means of reporting acts of abuse and/or their abuser. If you or someone you know is in trouble, text 844-997-2121 or go their website.

COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline: New York State Department of Mental Health has set up a hotline, 1-844-863-9314, to help you cope with increased anxiety as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. It is free and confidential and is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals, who have received training in crisis counseling.  

Park Jewish Institute: This time can be especially difficult for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, adding additional uncertainty and stress to already stressful situation. Parker Jewish Institute is holding their caregiver support group online at this time. For the telephone support group patrons can call daily, Monday – Friday, at 10 am and 2 pm and on Saturdays at 9:30 am; call 917-962-0650 and enter code 713896.

Mental Health Resources: Be sure to look over this list of phone numbers for organizations providing important mental health services via phone or online. Services continue to be available for those suffering from domestic violence, suicidal thoughts, addiction and more.

Headspace NY: Headspace is providing guided audio meditations, audio sleep experiences, and mindfulness exercises to help New Yorker’s calm their minds during these trying times.

Veteran’s Support Group: The Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran’s Support Project is running a weekly online support  group for Veterans on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon, Tuesday and Thursdays at 7pm. The link to the meeting is https://zoom.us/j/134570100.

Red Cross Virtual Family Assistance Center: If you or someone you know has lost a loved one to COVID-19, the Red Cross Virtual Family Assistance Center is offering help and support to those dealing with the unique circumstances that come from losing a loved one to this pandemic. Fill out an intake form, or call them at 585-957-8187, and they will provide emotional and spiritual support as well as provide you with referrals and resources.

Cell Phone Walking Tour of Bellport/Brookhaven: The Post-Morrow Foundation, the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society and the Village of Bellport have joined forces to develop a cell phone tour of the Bellport-Brookhaven Hamlet area. As we continue to look for things to do outside of our homes, this is the perfect tour to take with the beautiful weather. On their website you’ll find the map and for instructions on how to utilize the cell phone tour feature. As always, be sure to abide by social distancing rules on any walks you take, and bring a mask to wear in case you do end up in close proximity to others

Join our Spring Reading Challenge for children and teens! Keep track of the minutes you read or the number of books to earn points. When you earn 500 points and the library re-opens, you can claim a prize!

Make cards, posters, or create video posts to keep up the morale of healthcare workers at Mather Hospital. Hospital’s front-line staff workers can use your help! Please send cards, create video posts, make posters (8.5 x 11) of encouragement or gratitude for staff to help keep up their morale. Your creative works of art will be shared with the staff and posted in the hospital. Your words of support will be deeply appreciated. To encourage this endeavor, any teen who submits something can receive community service credit from our YA librarian.

Any cards, videos or posters can be sent to:

Public Affairs
Mather Hospital
75 North Country Rd.
Port Jefferson, NY 11777
or email to csantini@northwell.edu

Search #operationstorytime to find author storytimes on Instagram.

Keep Busy At Home with Activities For All Ages: This document will be updated often with links and resources for kids, teens, adults and librarians. This includes activities such as virtual storytimes, museum tours, crafts, book clubs and more.

Virtual Tours: We’ve compiled a list of virtual tours you can take while confined to home. These are both educational and fun!

Marquee Projects Art Gallery: Local art gallery Marquee Projects, is making art accessible to all, while maintaining a safe social distance. Although, the building is closed, they’ll be rotating artwork from their scheduled exhibit through the store front window for all to enjoy as well as making it available to view online.

Click here to check out video’s of storytimes, songs and activities from our Children’s Staff.

Click here for virtual programs and at-home community service opportunities for Young Adults/Teens.

Vid-Code: Vidcode is offering free online lessons for kids 10 years and up who want to learn to code. They’ll start with basics and build complexity each week. The sessions are 45 mins every Tuesday at 3 pm. Just click on the link, sign up, and they’ll send you the meeting link.

Osprey Cam: Get up close look at Osprey’s in their nests from these 24 hour PSEG webcams in Oyster Bay and Patchogue.

South Country Community Oral Histories: Bellport.com, as part of an effort to alleviate the effects of social isolation for high-risk residents during the COVID-19 outbreak, is inviting you to reach out to “high-risk” senior residents in the South Country community who may need someone to talk to during these tough times. They are compiling these conversations into an oral history of the community.

Quarantunes from The New Students: A local band from the Bellport/Brookhaven area is offering daily “Quarantunes”for your enjoyment! The New Students are utilizing an app to play together while separated so that you have some music to lift your spirits during this time. Check out their FB page @thenewstudents for their daily postings.

Discover Long Island: This tourist information center for Long Island is providing some great virtual programs such as Zumba, cooking classes, wildlife programs, and more content from Long Island organizations and businesses.

Children’s e-books, Activities and Teaching Guides: Andrews McMeel Publishing is offering a weekly free e-book from their catalog of middle-grade comics and graphic novels through the AMP Kids newsletter. They’re also providing printable creative activities and downloadable teaching guides as well as read-alongs with authors.

Online Nutrition Classes: Cornell Cooperative Extension have teamed up with SNAP-ED to offer Nutrition classes online via Zoom on topics such as “What are the differences between good fats and bad fats”, “Shopping Smart”, “Meat Alternatives”, “Meal Makeovers” and more!

Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Workshops: The American Red Cross of the Greater New York Region is offering free Emergency Preparedness programs online for both adults and children (grades 3-5) during this time. You’ll learn types of common disasters, ways to prepare as an individual, family and community member, what to do when disaster strikes and what actions you can take afterwards to aid in your recovery. They have many dates to choose from so find one that works for you and get prepared!