The villages of Cedarhurst and Lawrence are in a state of emergency, as mayors of both Five Towns municipalities issued declarations that called for the public not to use places of assembly, including but not limited to houses of worship. Cedarhurst explicitly banned in-house dining at restaurants and gathering at houses of worship.
Achiezer, the Lawrence-based community resource center, has confirmed that each of the Five Towns, North Woodmere and all of Far Rockaway, have confirmed cases of coronvirus.
Lawrence, which issued its order on March 15, is also prohibiting “all pedestrian and vehicular movement, standing and parking, in support of assembly at and/or usage of such places by other than staff thereof at such places.”
The order does not affect the public schools nor assembly at and/or use of providers of essential services such as fire police and supermarkets or grocers — up to 50 percent of maximum capacity — restaurant takeout and delivery services, pharmaceutical and/or hospital services. Village Hall is closed to the public. Services are still being offered call (516) 239-4600.
On March 15, Lawrence Deputy Mayor Michael Fragin posted this statement on Facebook: “We are facing a public health emergency. Please practice caution and good hygiene. Please limit social contact. Limit congregating in restaurants, gyms, events and minyan. Limit shopping which is not absolutely necessary.”
Cedarhurst Mayor Benjamin Weinstock said signed his village’s order on March 16. The primary point is to keep people safe, he said. Restaurants can still offer takeout services. Supermarkets and other grocery-type stores will remain open. Weinstock also closed Andrew J. Paris Cedarhurst’s playground and restrooms on March 17. Village Hall remains open.
The village trustee elections originally scheduled for March 18 have been moved to April 28, according to an executive order signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The move is intended to reduce crowd densities, and slow the spread of the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus that has infected roughly 950 people in New York, according to a March 16 release from Cuomo’s office. The order came in addition to another order that banned gatherings of more than 50 people.
In addition to the villages’ orders and the schools and libraries being closed, the Marion & Aaron Gural JCC Chief Executive Officer Aaron Rosenfeld and President Steve Bernstein sent out a joint email on March 15: “After careful consideration we have made the difficult decision to suspend our program and services at all our sites for at least two weeks through March 27. Our kosher food pantry at the SHOP will remain open a modified call-basis.” Previously, the JCC suspended its senior adult programming through March 20.
The Center for Adult Life Enrichment, which is based on the Hewlett High School campus and offers activities and program for seniors, will be closed until further notice, Executive Director Lee Gerardi said.
“It is possible that we might have to keep our doors closed until April 20 or later,” she said in an email. “The concern is to protect the well being of our seniors due to the more serious public coronavirus reality.”