Nassau increases food distribution sites, testing due to pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Nassau officials say they are working to feed those in need who are food insecure and to make viral testing more available.
In partnership with Island Harvest, food distribution sites have opened in Hempstead, Uniondale, Roosevelt and Levittown. The county says it plans on opening six more food distributions county-wide in the next few weeks.
“SNAP benefits in Nassau County and applications have doubled in the month of March. Food insecurity is a growing problem due to the pandemic,” says Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
Officials say about 30 million people nationwide have filed for jobless aid in the past six weeks.
Curran announced that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made available more than $1.5 million in funding available for food banks on Long Island.
In addition, Curran says the county has seen a disproportionate effect on the Hispanic and African American communities due to COVID-19.
The county has partnered with FQHC to make testing available in Elmont, Freeport, Hempstead and Westbury. To make an appointment you are urged to call 516-396-7500.
In addition, the county says it has also ramped up antibody testing for municipal workers. To make an appointment you are asked to call the county COVID-19 hotline at 516-227-9570.
Curran says the county remains in New York Pause until May 15.
“I believe that downstate regional approach to reopening will be different from NYC. The point is to do this in a structured way, an organized way, following the data. I am encouraging all business owners, education leaders, to start thinking about what reopening looks like,” says Curran.
As far as the county COVID-19 numbers, Curran says the total number of hospitalizations continues to decline for the 19 straight day – down 1,029. That number represents a 58 percent decrease from a month ago. In addition, there are currently 336 COVID-19 patients in the ICU and 276 on ventilators.
The number of COVID-19-related deaths stands at 1,770 in the county.

“The number of deaths are growing more slowy, but it does continue to grow. It is a stark and chilling reminder we are in pandemic mode,” says Curran.