Senator Thomas Statement on Polio Virus Detected in Nassau County Wastewater

Kevin Thomas

September 9, 2022

Today, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) announced that poliovirus was detected in Nassau County wastewater. While there are currently NO identified cases in our community, the wastewater sample collected from Nassau County in August is further evidence of expanding community spread.

In an effort to get ahead of further spread, an Executive Order declaring a State Disaster Emergency has been issued directing local Health Departments to increase the availability of resources to protect New Yorkers against paralytic disease. I am calling on Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and other County officials to ramp up awareness efforts and make vaccinations readily accessible so unvaccinated residents can protect themselves.  This is a completely preventable public health crisis. But, only if we remain vigilant.


It is the responsibility of the local Health Department to carry out these emergency response efforts. This should include a strong push by the County to promote public awareness and launch vaccination sites throughout Nassau County. Watching traces of a once eradicated virus make a slow and concerning return to New York State should be a cause of great concern – and a call to action for officials to protect our residents. Now is not the time to quit while we are ahead.

Read more about the DOH response here: