March 15, 2020
The course of the COVID-19 virus and our society’s reaction to it has accelerated dramatically in the last 72 hours. Due to these unprecedented circumstances, the Mayor and Village Board have taken the following actions:
- I have declared a state of emergency in the Village off New Hyde Park.
This mirrors declarations made at the federal, state, county and town levels. Doing so makes us eligible for emergency funding should we need it. It also allows the different levels of government to take fast and appropriate actions that are in the best interests of the public and public safety.
- Sanitation and Department of Public Works services will continue.
Maintaining sanitation services is the most critical function the village provides. To mitigate the risk of service interruptions should we encounter a quarantine situation at DPW, we have established an intermunicipal agreement with the neighboring villages of: Floral Park, Stewart Manor, Williston Park and Mineola. If one village has service problems due to an infection and quarantine, the other villages will help provide sanitation services. We are also working with the Town of North Hempstead on a similar arrangement.
- Access to Village Hall will be limited to visits by appointment only.
Almost all village business can be made by telephone or email. All forms are available on the village web site. Please call Village Hall if you have any questions.
- The Village Board meeting scheduled for March 19, 2020 has been cancelled.
We are working to set up a teleconferencing solution to enable the public to participate in public meetings and hearings.
- Village Court is cancelled for March 18th and April 1st.
Court cases planned for those dates will be rescheduled.
- Village Parks will remain open; the basketball courts at Memorial Park will be closed.
Due in part to the school closures, the parks will remain open. We have pulled in the Park Attendants who will start on Monday, March 16th. The Village does not normally man the parks until April 1st. We are having water service turned on to make bathrooms operational. Basketball courts will be closed as this sport encourages close bodily contact which directly contradicts the strategy of maintaining a safe distance to inhibit transmission of the virus.
There are likely to be more steps taken to proactively stem the threat this virus posses to our citizens. The key appears to be to deny the ability of the virus to transfer from one person to another. In addition to maintaining personal hygiene, a great paradigm shift in how we are accustomed to interacting with one another is also required. We each have a responsibility to ourselves and each other to behave differently; maintain appropriate physical distances and avoid crowding situations.
We will get through this. The more people who cooperate and behave responsibly, the more people will survive. Now is the time to help one another.
Thank you for your understanding and stay healthy.
Mayor, Village of New Hyde Park