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Five Towns villages aiming to ensure health and safety of residents


Updated March 30 at 10 a.m.

As the number of coronavirus cases has neared 400 in the Five Towns,  community leaders have urged residents to comply with the state mandated gathering guidelines and partnered with local organizations.

In Lawrence, Mayor Alex Edelman is working with Achiezer, a Lawrence-based community resource center, and with clergy to help ensure people are in compliance with the social distancing initiatives. Village employees have staggered work hours to protect staff and still provide services to residents, officials said.

Cedarhurst Mayor Benjamin Weinstock noted the precautions the village is taking during the pandemic. "We've been desanitizing our park benches and parking meters," he said. "We've also asked all residents for their updated phone number and email addresses so that we can provide them with emergency updates." Weinstock added that the village's website will continue to provide information to residents.

Mark Weiss, mayor of Hewlett Harbor, said that the village has had its private security patrols working during the day also to maintain  the "comfort and security" of the residents.  

"We  have 100 to 150 walking our streets, getting out and about and have the security patrols making sure that cars are maintaining the proper speed and people the proper distance," Weiss said, adding that the village employees are working remotely and Hewlett Harbor set up a phone number to connect people who can pick up food and needed supplies such as medications for residents who cannot get out. The number is (516) 350-4926.

According to the latest statistical updates from the county, the number of Five Towns coronavirus cases has reached 392.

As of March 27, there are 212 cases in Woodmere, 76 in Lawrence, 50 in Cedarhurst, 30 in Hewlett and 24 in Inwood. The county had previously reported 23 cases in the Five Towns on March 25. There are also confirmed cases in North Woodmere and Far Rockaway.

In regards to treating the virus, State Assemblywoman Melissa Miller (R-Atlantic Beach) said that she's reached out to the state's Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker and Attorney General Letitia James about guidelines for receiving a ventilator.

"The idea that there are ventilator guidelines that clearly give priority to neuro-typical individuals, is absolutely appalling," Miller said. "Any individual with intellectual, physical or developmental disability would not meet the criteria to receive a ventilator in the event that choices need to be made."

In a March 23 update, Lawrence-based Achiezer described the situation. "There are several community members under age 50, including babies, who have been hospitalized," they said. "It is now assumed that all people in Far Rockaway and Five Towns who have recently developed symptoms are infected with COVID-19."

Achiezer reccomended to those that believe they have coronavirus symptoms to call: Go Health Urgent Care, Lynbrook: (516) 441-2155 or Jones Beach Drive Through COVID-19 Testing: (888) 364-3065.