COVID-19 Update #8 from IHP for Fishers Island May 15, 2020

A special message on COVID-19 to the Fishers Island Community from the Island Health Project & Island Community Board, #8

May 15, 2020

Dear fellow Fishers Islanders,

This week we want to share highlights on the current situation and directives from NY state and their implications for Fishers Island. Today, May 15, was the day when NY State’s “stay-at-home” order was set to expire. It was just announced that in most of New York including Fishers Island, the “stay-at-home” order has been extended to May 28. (Link might take a second to open).

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s data-driven “NY Forward Plan” sets specific criteria for re-opening by state region. Fishers Island belongs to the Suffolk County / Long Island region, and we have not passed the metrics for reopening:

  • Although Suffolk County / Long Island does meet the metrics for 14-day decline in hospitalizations, as well as ICU beds available, and number of tests, it does not meet the metrics for the 14-day declines in deaths or new hospitalizations. The county is about halfway to its 400-person goal for contact tracers.
  • New York City and other populated parts of NY have even further to go before reopening.
  • Regions that did meet the criteria in full and will reopen include: Central New York, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, the North Country, and Mohawk Valley.
  • The criteria for NY Regions’ reopening are measured and posted on this clear and informative website.
  • You may follow the Suffolk County COVID-19 Reopening progress here.
  • You may subscribe to New York State’s daily Coronavirus Updates here.

What does the extension of the “stay-at-home” order mean? It means that these Phase One industries will not yet re-open here although they will in certain parts of New York:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Non-essential retail for curbside and in-store pickup
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry and fishing

Phase Two includes: professional services, finance and insurance, retail, admin support, real estate, (and apparently, hairstyling!). Phase Three is restaurants and food services, and Phase Four includes arts, recreation, and education. None of these are allowed to open yet, state-wide.

However, NY State guidance on specific low-risk business and recreational activities has been lifted across the state starting from today, which is very good news. So long as protections for employees and customers are assured (wearing masks when in close proximity, strict cleaning and sanitation standards, adjustments to work place hours and shift design to reduce density in the workplace, social distancing protocols, and restricting non-essential travel for employees), these activities are back in business:

  • Landscaping
  • Gardening
  • Tennis
  • Drive-In-Movie Theaters
  • Marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers

More than 300,000 New Yorkers have been diagnosed with COVID-19, out of nearly 1.3 million Americans in all. New York State is still seeing over 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 on a daily basis. Deaths have been +/- 150/day, and medical experts are worried about new COVID_related inflammatory illness in children (110 reported cases in New York). The situation is still serious. Remember to mitigate the risk here on Fishers Island by wearing a mask, social distancing, washing your hands, and following proper protocols. One of the best things you can do when seeing friends is to do so outdoors, not indoors, and here is a great article explaining why.

On Tuesday, May 19, we hope you will join the ICB Zoom meeting, where we will have a presentation by Bonnie Benkard and Jessie Doyle on their Taskforce for Children for summer 2020. And next Friday, May 22, we anticipate being able to share our summer recommended protocols with the community in draft form, for comment.

The Advice and FAQ documents can be accessed here, with no changes for now.

IHP COVID-19 FI Advice #7 | IHP’s COVID-19 FAQ #7

Once again we repeat our call to action for everyone (including babysitters, employees, year-rounders, and seasonal residents) to register with IHP at Dr. Ingram’s office and set up the MyChart App. This way, you will already be pre-loaded into our system if you have a medical need this summer, or if we need to contact you if you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Step by step instructions for MyChart have been posted on Di Shillo and the office staff are available to help you with this remotely. (Please call 631-788-7244 and leave your name and number. They will call you back to assist with MyChart set up), and please note we do not take walk-ins at our office and we will be trying to use telemedicine whenever possible.

As always, do not hesitate to call or text me at 917-903-3516 if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and need medical advice.

Yours truly,




Dr. Christopher Ingram
Physician in Residence, Fishers Island





Willard Soper
President, Island Community Board

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