Roanoke Landing, Riverhead. Photo: Peter Blasl

New coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths continue to decline in New York, reaching their lowest rates since mid-March, when the outbreak began spreading in the state.

Across the country, new cases remained under 50,000 all week, with current hospitalizations in the U.S. steadily declining. There were 6,922 COVID-19 fatalities in the U.S. this week, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week renewed his repeated warnings to New Yorkers not to become complacent — because flu season, accompanied by a probably second wave of the coronavirus, is just around the corner.

There were 26 new COVID-19 deaths this week in New York State, which saw 3,249 new confirmed cases this week. There were two coronavirus fatalities in Suffolk County this week and 271 new confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, the governor gave commercial gyms the green light to reopen as of Aug. 24 — rendering moot the motion for an injunction filed in a class action lawsuit brought against the governor by a coalition of gym owners. The lawsuit lives on but the motion for an injunction was withdrawn.

This week, we took a look back, in pictures, at life before the pandemic: a year in the life of our community. Watch the video:

Breaking news

A motor vehicle accident and a farm machinery accident seriously injured two local men this week, a 21-year-old Flanders man and
a worker at a Jamesport farm.

Excessive bacteria levels led county health officials to shut down three local beaches to bathing this week.

Police arrested a man on an aggravated driving while intoxicated charge after he crashed into a marked police vehicle last weekend on West Main Street.

Tropical Storm Isaias

Riverhead Town’s storm debris pickup is going more slowly than anticipated, Supervisor Yvette Aguiar announced on Tuesday. She said highway crews were finishing up in Wading River, which saw a lot of downed trees and limbs in the Aug. 4 tropical storm, and would removing next into Calverton and Riverhead.

PSEG-LI announced it would reimburse customers for spoiled food and medications caused by power outages.

The state has issued notices of apparent violation to PSEG-LI, Altice USA, Con-Edison, Rockland & Orange Utilities and Central Hudson Gas & Electric.

School news

Riverhead school district administrators heard from parents this week on the district’s reopening plans, hosting nine virtual informational meetings — two general meetings and seven specific to individual schools.

Links to the recordings of all meetings are posted on the district’s website.


Planet Fitness will be reopening in its new location on Route 58 in Riverhead, a company spokesperson said this week. A manager at the Riverhead gym told RiverheadLOCAL this week, the gym is aiming to open on Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 9 a.m.

Crossfit Impervious and American Muscle Studios, which have both been holding outdoor classes and workouts, said on their social media they will resume indoor workouts and classes announced it will begin indoor classes this week.

Maximus Health & Fitness said on its Facebook page it will likely reopen the week of Aug. 31.

Government & Politics

A plan to allow the conversion of vacant retail space on Route 58 into “micro apartments” was aired by Supervisor Yvette Aguiar.

Planning Board Chairman Stan Carey expressed reluctance to approve new projects requiring Riverhead Water District hookups, given questions about the district’s capacity to supply new customers.

Rep. Lee Zeldin will be a featured prime-time speaker at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night, his campaign announced. Zeldin will deliver his speech from Long Island.


A Riverhead school district elementary school teacher, who survived COVID this spring, responds to a school board member’s comments about the virus. Guest column by Georgette Keller

Eileen Benthal in her “Life on Purpose” column wrote about taking life one day at a time during the pandemic.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele argues for greater accountability and transparency for the Long Island Power Authority and PSEG-Long Island.

Libertarian candidate for Second Assembly District urges voters to put country before party, arguing that the two major political parties have failed us.

Local history

This week marked the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage in the Unites States with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In New York, women gained the right to vote in 1917, when a statewide referendum was approved by voters. Riverhead was one of two towns in Suffolk that voted no.


Florence M. Agoglia, 93
Patricia Ann Sosnowski, 87
Rev. Carl Clemens Weaver, 88

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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.