Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital administrators and Town of Hempstead officials announced a partnership aimed at boosting the availability of hand sanitizers at town beaches, pools and golf courses during the summer.
MSSN, in Oceanside, is providing 40 hand sanitizer dispensers to be used at 28 locations, including the beaches, pools and golf courses within the Hempstead. The hospital is also providing 20 cases of sanitizer for refills. The town’s Department of Parks and Recreation staff will be at the ready to replace and refill the sanitizer stations throughout the summer.
At a news conference on July 2 at Hewlett Point Park in Bay Park, Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin, Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and MSSN Chief Medical Officer Dr. Adhi Sharma announced the partnership.
“Even when you are outside, enjoying the best of what the town offers in the summer months, it is of utmost importance to keep your hands clean,” Sharma said. “We are pleased to partner with the Town of Hempstead and support their constant efforts to keep residents safe and to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as well as other dangerous and contagious viruses and infections.”
Clavin and Sharma also reinforced important tips for clean hands and hygiene during the pandemic, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, including these tips:
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
When soap and water are not readily available, people are advised to use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol
Once the hand sanitizer is applied, cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
“Maintaining clean hands is one of the key steps to avoiding Covid-19 and staying healthy,” Clavin said. “When traditional hand washing options are not available, especially when you are out and about, hand sanitizer is the best option to keep your hands clean and germ-free.”
The hand sanitizer stations will be at Hewlett Point Park, Town Park Point Lookout, Lido Beach, Lido Beach West Town Park, the Merrick Golf Course, Lido Golf Course and at Town of Hempstead pools.
Following the guidance issued by state and local health authorities, the Town of Hempstead opened beaches in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, and most of the township’s 22 pools in time for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Under the leadership of Clavin and the Town Board, a first-of-its-kind coronavirus concierge assistants program was established, which has staff members dedicated to assisting residents at beaches and pools with Covid-19 safety regulations and social-distancing guidelines. The staff members also have masks available by request.
The hand sanitizer program is one of several initiatives between the Town of Hempstead and MSSN. In June 2017, the town and the hospital initiated a partnership to provide complimentary sunscreen at all town beaches, pools and golf courses. In May, hospital staff participated in a Facebook Live session hosted by the town entitled, “Coping During Covid,” a question-and-answer session focused on mental health during the pandemic. Through federal funds, the town also made a $1 million contribution to MSSN as part of a grant program to assist local hospitals that responded to the coronavirus patient surge. The grant monies have been used for various needs, including the purchase of ventilators and dialysis machines that were required during the early stages of the pandemic.
“The dedicated front-line heroes at Mount Sinai South Nassau have been there for us from the beginning of the pandemic and continue to be there to protect the health and safety of our residents,” D’Esposito said. “Keeping your hands clean is so critical to staying healthy and I thank Mount Sinai South Nassau for helping provide hand sanitizer to people who are on the go.”
Courtesy Town of Hempstead; compiled by Mike Smollins