NEW YORK (77 WABC) — After peak number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in April, there has been enough downward trends to let Long Island get restarted. Beginning today, manufacturing and construction can resume in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Retail stores can open to curbside pick-up, “which I think will really help our downtowns and our small businesses,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran told WABCRadio.com. “They’re suffering.”
There is also concern that residents, cooped up in their homes for more than two months, will not abide by the vital social distancing. Numerous videos from across the country have shown people disregarding other people’s space and not wearing a mask.
“I have to say, our residents have been very good,” Curran said. “They’ve been really through this whole pandemic. They get it.”
Curran and her health officials will watch for any spikes in the coming days and weeks. But she said, shutting everything down again is probably not the best option.
“I think the prudent thing would be take some more time between phase one and phase two,” she said.
The county executive, though, is optimistic that Nassau will not face a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
Despite the return of some portions of the economy, it’s not enough to help the millions out of work.
“This is thing that keeps me awake at night,” Curran admitted. “We’re doing these food distributions with Island Harvest and we have hundreds upon hundreds of people coming.”
She said up to 7,000 families have each been fed for a week from the county.
“It just points to the devastation to the economy. So many of our residents are already paycheck-to-paycheck.”
The economic impact, Curran predicted, will be faced for “quite a long time.”
Also on family’s minds, what happens with schools in the fall? Curran said “that’s a tricky one.”
In her conversations with superintendents, Curran learned that most would rather open fully and not have staggering times and days. She said educators plan to keep remote teaching if all schools can’t open aren’t uniformly.
If students are going back, educators wants two months of lead time to plan accordingly.
As Nassau County starts looking to its rebirth from the coronavirus, Curran reflected on what the shutdown meant personally.
“My husband is kind of guy who commutes into the city every day. Now he’s home every day. I have two kids still figuring out this distance learning like everybody else,” Curran said. “It’s strengthened our family ties in some way. We have more family meals together.”