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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 25, 2020
Contact: Scott A. Russell, Supervisor
Re: Supervisor’s Statement
Southold has been, and continues to be, the town most impacted in Suffolk County by the COVID-19 (Corona) Virus. The virus has put a tremendous strain on our resources. Our community residents continue to be the most at-risk by the spread of this virus. A new trend is taking place that puts our local residents at even further risk- people seeking refuge from the metropolitan areas. It is simple math, the more people that come, the greater the spread and the greater the confirmed cases.
We have a limited number of stores who are trying to keep their shelves stocked and ration out supplies as best they can. Local residents are finding it difficult to meet even their most basic needs. Unnecessary hoarding and the recent, sudden expansion of the population by those who come are making this far worse.
Southold relies heavily on volunteer first responders who are trying to protect this community and their families, all while managing with limited protective gear. Their heroic efforts are under substantial strain.
Our limited medical resources are over-burdened and, despite stellar healthcare facilities, they are reaching capacity which has the potential of limiting access to local residents.
I am joining Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman in requesting that Governor Cuomo put a travel ban to the east end in place limiting travel to only essential personnel. Our resources are scarce, the risk of spread is too high for a Town which is already seeing more than its share of confirmed cases and deaths. Southold should NOT be treated as someone’s personal isolation unit.
For those who already have come here, follow federal guidelines to self- quarantine for 14 days. It is essential to avoid public exposure to others at all costs and they need to stay in place.
This Town is in a crisis. It is bound to get worse and sometimes draconian measures are necessary. A travel ban is one of those measures. For others who have decided to use Southold as a shelter, respect this community and stay inside.