Information sign at South Jamesport Beach urges residents to "KEEP BEACHES OPEN...OBEY THE RULES." Photo: Peter Blasl

In its first comprehensive COVID-19 update to the public since April 3, the Town of Riverhead yesterday notified residents that all town buildings, except the police station, will remain closed to the public until at least May 31 under the ongoing state of emergency, which was again extended by Supervisor Yvette Aguiar on Monday.

Aguiar’s most recent state of emergency order is the 13th issued by the supervisor since Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a disaster emergency in New York on March 7.

The supervisor in that order canceled all town meetings through May 31, except the May 21 planning board meeting, the May 28 town board work session and the May 28 zoning board of appeals meeting. Those meetings will take place remotely.

The supervisor ordered nearly all town park and recreation facilities to remain closed through May 31. Closed facilities include: baseball and softball fields; basketball courts; bathrooms; bocce courts; dog parks; handball courts; hockey rink; pickleball courts; playgrounds; skate park; shuffleboard courts; and soccer fields.

Town beaches, beach parking lots, the EPCAL recreation trail and open space/park areas remain open, subject to safe distancing rules, through May 31. These include: Stotzky Park; Bayberry Park; Amman Park (Peconic Riverfront); Sound Avenue Nature Preserve; and Miamogue Park.

Iron Pier Beach playground on May 12. Photo: Peter Blasl

Correspondence with town departments will continue through U.S. mail and e-mail, according to the update.

All calls to town Departments will be answered and prioritized, the update said. Phone calls should be directed to 631- 727-3200 ext. 0.

LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus coverage, maps and cases by town.

The update issued yesterday includes a long list of resources and links, including information on where to obtain COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody tests. (See document below.)

Previous updates were issued by the town on March 20, March 23, March 27 and April 2. RiverheadLOCAL has archived them here.

Since the town’s last update, issued April 3, the coronavirus outbreak escalated on Long Island, peaked and is now receding. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Riverhead Town jumped from 108 on April 3 to 612 as of yesterday. That number stands at 631 this morning, according to data published by Suffolk County. Confirmed cases in Suffolk rose from 9,231 on April 2 to 37,062 on May 12. Newly diagnosed cases have declined sharply in the past week. Deaths in Suffolk rose from 96 on April 3 to 1,704 on May 12.

Riverhead Town organized with Island Harvest a drive-up food distribution on April 10 that served about 500 families. An equal number, according to town police, were turned away after supplies ran out.

Vehicles waiting in line for the April 10 food distribution stretch a mile east along Pulaski Street. Photo: Denise Civiletti

The town on April 30 distributed food and necessary items to local pantries, using a $10,000 grant from the Donald and Barbara Zucker Family Foundation to purchase supplies from a local distributer.

Riverhead continues its meals on wheels program, delivering one meal per day to enrolled seniors. Since March 27, the town has been operating the Riverhead SAFE delivery program for seniors, veterans and medically fragile residents, who can purchase food and essential items from participating merchants and have them delivered by town employees.

RiverheadLOCAL has archived all Riverhead Town emergency orders here.

Town of Riverhead COVID-19 … by RiverheadLOCAL on Scribd

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.