State Says Bars Responsible for Social Distancing on Sidewalk
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed an executive order earlier today that will allow the state’s enforcement efforts to increase for businesses that aren’t following social distancing guidelines.
The state liquor authority can immediately suspend a business’s liquor license for violating rules. Bars and restaurants are not only responsible for ensuring these social distancing requirements inside their establishments, but are also required to enforce the area immediately outside their location, which includes the sidewalk and any expansion of their business into the street.
“Some of what we saw were people mingling and not seated,” County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said on his daily conference call with reporters. The county sent notifications from the Department of Health reminding the businesses of the guidance.
“We don’t want to be overly aggressive with businesses struggling to get back on their feet,” Bellone said, although he suggested that “egregious violations” have an appropriate mechanism in place to allow authorities to respond immediately.
The data from the county regarding the spread of the virus continues to be positive as Suffolk entered the second week of its Phase Two reopening.
An additional 40 people tested positive for the virus, bringing the total who have tested positive since the pandemic reached Long Island to 40,810. The rate of positive tests was 0.7 percent, which is well below the positive testing rate during the worst of the pandemic, which was above 30 percent.
Hospitalizations continue to hover around the same level, climbing one day and then falling the next. In the 24 hours ending June 16, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was 125, which is a decline of four. That follows an increase from the day before of eight.
The number of people in the Intensive Care Unit with the virus remained the same, at 35.
An additional 15 people were discharged from the hospital in the last day.
The number of people who died from complications related to COVID-19 was three. Coronavirus has taken the lives of 1,961 residents of Suffolk County.
Hospital bed occupancy was at 66 percent, while the percent of ICU beds was at 62.
Earlier this week, the governor announced that hospital patients could receive visitors.
Stony Brook University Hospital received the updated guidelines to expand visitation with protocols for specific safety measures, health screenings and time limited visits, according to a Stony Brook Medicine official.
“We are currently reviewing these guidelines so that we can establish a safe process of visitation for our patients and their families while continuing to maintain a safe environment,” the SB official explained in an email. “We know visitors and loved ones play an essential role in the healing and recovery process of our patients and we look forward to welcoming them once again.”
The official didn’t indicate when the hospital might begin allowing visitors.
At this point, the kick off to the summer film series at Smith Point County Park on Saturday, June 20 has sold out for the free showing of “Jaws” at 8:30 p.m. The date of the showing marks the 45th anniversary of the release of the film in which Richard Dreyfuss, playing Matt Hooper, proclaimed, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat,” when the shark attacked.
If those who have booked tickets do not arrive by 8:10 p.m., other residents can take their place, Bellone said.
The next movie in the summer film series is “Goonies,” which will be on June 24. Residents who would like to see the film can go to the web site suffolkcountyny.gov/