April 17, 2020
We have come to the end of a second week of no new cases of COVID-19 on Fishers Island, which is very good news. I’m also happy to report that Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London currently has an adequate number of beds and facilities and is not overwhelmed. This stands in contrast to the situation in New York City and other NY and CT suburbs, but it is a fragile situation that could easily change.
As I stressed at the Island Community Board (ICB) meeting on Tuesday, I urge anyone on Island who is feeling possible symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, malaise) to call me as early as possible for monitoring and advice, at 917-903-3516. Catching cases early will go a long way to prevent transmission to others. Your situation will remain confidential.
Thank you for submitting the COVID-19 census forms to let us know that you are here, which also remain confidential. Our Island headcount currently stands at about 500 people, but we suspect that we may have missed many households, possibly even hundreds of you. If you have not yet filled in the form, please do so electronically here. We will also be working with the ferry, FIDCO gatehouse, and other public places and entry points to the island to supply forms and to strongly request they be completed.
Our updated Advice and FAQ for this week (with latest changes in red) can be found here:
The IHP and ICB are now focusing on two things as high priorities. One of these is testing—we are exploring the feasibility of getting a supply of virus tests and immunity/serology blood tests for Fishers Island. A group of volunteers is helping to explore solutions for supply and funding. Testing at this point is inexact, so it’s not clear how testing results could be applied to our situation but we believe testing protocols will be critical to maintaining safety and order on the island as the summer season approaches, so please watch for future updates. If you would like to learn more about the science behind testing, this blog is excellent (but quite long).
Our other critical priority is, of course, the summer season and working with seasonal organizations to offer health and safety advice that pertains to their employees, members, participant protocols, and operating parameters. Expect plans to unfold slowly and incrementally. This summer will be very different from normal. We follow NY state guidelines, and currently golf courses and marinas are closed. As they have news to share with the public, all seasonal organizations will publish statements on www.fishersisland.net and can also collectively be found here.
If you would like to hear from us directly or ask questions in a town hall forum, the ICB continues to hold meetings every Tuesday at 5:00 pm by Zoom for residents and community members. To be added to the email list, and to receive the meeting ID and password, please contact Mere Harr at FINY.firstname.lastname@example.org. Your voice matters and we want to hear and respond to your concerns.
Meanwhile, do not relax the 6’ social distancing and mask/quarantine protocols. Wash your hands frequently. And help us keep track of everyone who is here on Island by completing the COVID-19 Census.
Dr. Chris Ingram
Physician in Residence, Fishers Island
Text or call 917-903-3516