March 24, 2020
In the past few weeks, many of you have reached out to my office asking how you can help our community during the COVID-19 outbreak. I am amazed by this outpouring of support, and incredibly proud to represent a community that is eager to support those in need in a time of crisis.
Here are a few ways you can lend a hand to our friends and neighbors during these unprecedented times:
Each one of us has a part to play in combating the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing, using good hygiene skills, and being mindful of federal, state, and local guidelines is crucial in our fight against this pandemic. Remember: Stay Home. Stay Strong. Stay Safe. I know this can be difficult, but the impacts on our daily lives are a short-term sacrifice to help our hospitals, health care workers, testing labs, immunocompromised and elderly residents.
Support our Essential Workers
While many of us are staying home to help stop the spread of the virus, the essential employees who are continuing to work through this crisis need our support now more than ever. Health care workers, supermarket staff, sanitation workers, delivery drivers, first responders, law enforcement, journalists, social workers, and so many more -- these are the brave people who are keeping our community up and running. Ask if they can use a meal, a coffee -- even a few kind words can go a long way.
Donate To Those In Need
Nassau County has begun to accept donations of medical supplies due to supply shortages. The County has created a drive-up collection point at Field 3, Park Blvd, Eisenhower Park. Collections will take place 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM on the following days: Tuesday 3/24 to Friday 3/27, and Monday 3/30 to Friday 4/3.
The below medical supplies are needed, in unopened packages:
- N95 Surgical Masks in unopened container/boxes
- Eye protection such as goggles and face shields
- Nitrile Gloves in unopened boxes which have not expired
- Disposable medical gowns (paper which are fluid resistant or plastic)
- Shoe cover/booties
- No-Touch thermometers
- Thermometer probe covers
- HEPA filters for Ventilators / Anesthesia Machines
- Antibacterial and disinfecting wipes – typically alcohol or bleach based
- Disinfecting wipes (Clorox/Lysol)
- Hand Sanitizer
Additionally, our local food banks are working hard to support Long Islanders with critical food and resources during this public health emergency. You can support their work with a donation:
Island Harvest (https://www.islandharvest.org/covid/) or call 631-873-4775.
Remember to use caution whenever making charitable donations, and never make donations in cash, by gift card, or by money wire. For more guidance, visit the NYS Attorney General's website at https://ag.ny.gov/coronavirus.
New York State is calling on health care professionals, schools of public health or medicine, PPE product providers, and manufacturers to come forward to support the state’s response to COVID-19. To learn how you can get involved, go to https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/get-involved-how-you-can-help.
For additional opportunities, visit the “Help Your Community!” section of my COVID-19 Community Resource Page at nysenate.gov/coronavirusresources.
Support our Local Businesses
Many of our local businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19. This is a critical time to support the small businesses who are the lifeblood of our communities. There are many ways that you can support them while staying at home:
- Order takeout. Not only does that keep our restaurants going, it provides income for delivery drivers. Services like Grubhub and DoorDash have provided guidelines for safe, no contact deliveries while many restaurants also offer no contact pickup - no apps needed.
- Purchase gift cards to local shops as a promise to return when they reopen.
Fill Out The Census
Now is an opportune time to fill out the Census. An accurate Census count means more resources for our community, including healthcare funding. There are many ways to safely fill out your Census form from home: Online at http://2020census.gov, by phone at 1-844-330-2020, or by mail.
If you have any questions regarding the Census, feel free to email email@example.com or call 516-739-1700 -- my staff is happy to assist.
Support One Another
Last but not least, make sure to support those around you. Social isolation can be difficult, and many of us may be feeling stressed or anxious. Call someone who might be feeling lonely. Check up on a friend, family member, or an older relative via Skype or phone. Just because we're distancing ourselves "socially", doesn't mean we have to distance ourselves emotionally. Connecting with others is more important than ever in times like these.
As always, my staff and I are here to assist you should you have any questions, concerns, or requests for information. Leave us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (516) 739-1700. If you haven't already, please check out the COVID-19 Community Resource Page at nysenate.gov/coronavirusresources. My staff updates this page daily to keep you and your family connected to the latest information and resources available.
Stay safe and be well.
Senator Kevin Thomas