All 13 of Long Island’s town supervisors have agreed to participate in a working group to explore ways to coordinate efforts to allow for safe recreational summer activity on Long Island in the face of challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release.
The group, known as the Nassau/Suffolk Joint Summer Operations Task Force, met on a Zoom Facebook Live event to speak about both the collaborative effort as well as the particular challenges involved in Long Island summer planning during this time.
The goal of the working group is to establish possible coordination of three central components necessary to allow for safe recreational summer activity on Long Island:
- Public health messaging: Consistent social distancing guidelines across all communities will be vital to ensuring broad compliance from residents.
- Opening (and possible re-closing) timelines: Syncing the timing of beach, park and facilities openings as much as feasible, will ensure that variation between towns does not lead to a surge in crowding at one location, due to closure at another. Additionally, if there is an increase in infection rates at some point in the summer, coordinating the possible closure of activities will again prevent any one town or community from being overrun.
- Beach, park and playground policies: While there is a wide variation in the size and types of parks resources across the Long Island towns, coordination regarding best practices for potential each usage, park activity and playground policies will ensure that the safest approach is applied uniformly for all residents of Long Island.
The supervisors set a goal date of May 18 to issue the joint guidelines that are agreed upon by all of the towns, enabling the group to take into consideration the very latest research on outdoor virus transmission, and still allow for proper planning and staffing before the start of the summer season, according to the release.
Suffolk County Supervisors
Babylon – Richard Schaffer, Chairman of Suffolk County Supervisors Association
Brookhaven – Edward Romaine
East Hampton – Peter Van Scoyoc
Huntington- Chad Lupinacci
Islip – Angie Carpenter
Riverhead – Yvette Aguiar
Shelter Island – Gerard Siller
Smithtown – Edward Wehrheim
Southampton – Jay Schneiderman
Southold – Scott Russell
Nassau County Supervisors
Hempstead – Donald Clavin Jr.
North Hempstead – Judi Bosworth
Oyster Bay – Joseph Saladino