With more and more confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus affecting Long Island, Village of New Hyde Park Mayor Lawrence Montreuil and the village board recently declared a state of emergency for the village.
“I have declared a state of emergency in the Village of New Hyde Park,” Montreuil said in a letter that went out to residents. “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.”
The village’s sanitation and department of public works (DPW) services will continue in the village as per usual.
“Maintaining sanitation services is the most critical function the village provides,” Montreuil said. “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 now be limited to visits by appointment only while the mayor urges that all village business can be made by telephone or email. All forms required are available on the village’s website at www.vnhp.org or residents can call village hall at 516-354-0022 if they have any questions.
The village’s parks, however, will remain open for the time being.
“Due in part to the school closures, the parks will remain open,” Montreuil said. “We have pulled in the park attendants who started on Monday, March 16. The village does not normally man the parks until April 1. 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.”
Montreuil continued to say that there are likely to be more steps taken from the village to proactively stem the threat the virus posses to village residents.
“The key appears to be to deny the ability of the virus to transfer from one person to another,” he said. “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.”
In the Village of Floral Park, a volunteer firefighter contracted the coronavirus and is quarantining.
“When the member notified the chief of flu-like symptoms, the member was instructed to seek medical treatment, be tested and to immediately self-quarantine,” stated a letter that the village posted on its website. “Under the direction of the chief of the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s office to contact Nassau County Department of Health, the department of health advised the fire chief to notify all members to self-monitor themselves for any symptoms. Upon confirmation of the positive test, the fire chief, after consulting with the department of health, individually notified any person(s) who were known to be within a 6-foot radius of that person, the village board and the department of health. Members that were within a 6-foot radius of the infected person were individually instructed to notify the department of health and begin the 14-day self-quarantine period from the date of the exposure.”
The village asks that all residents visit www.fpvillage.org daily as the rules and guidelines of the CDC and Department of Health change.