As the country grapples with various levels of implicit bias in the weeks after Minneapolis resident George Floyd was killed by a white police officer, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) signed two executive orders June 19, otherwise known as Juneteenth.
More than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation while the country was in the throes of the Civil War, slaves in Texas were among the last to learn June 19, 1865, that they, too, were free.
Bellone signed one executive order that mandates the same kind of implicit bias training members of the Suffolk County Police Department have received since 2018 for every county employee before June 19 of 2021.
Additionally, Bellone signed an order that directs the county’s Office of Minority Affairs to prepare an annual observance of this important day in American history next year. The celebration could include festivals, parades, symposiums and musical events. The day will focus on the achievements of African Americans. The office will solicit input from the community and stakeholders to help plan these events.
As part of the outreach, the county executive’s office will also reach out to schools.
“The education piece is incredibly important,” Bellone said on his daily conference call with reporters. The effort is designed to ensure that students have a broader understanding of American history and about the progress the country is making and needs to make.
The number of residents who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last day was 54. That brings the total to 40,864. The positive tests continue to represent less than one percent of the total tests given by the county.
The number of hospitalizations, meanwhile, broke below a holding pattern for the last week. The number of residents hospitalized with the coronavirus fell by 15 to 110. The number of people in the Intensive Care Unit with the virus fell by six to 29.
An additional 21 people were discharged from hospitals in the county.
The number of people who have died from complications related to COVID19 increased by one to 1,962 over the last day.
Long Island Ducks
The Long Island Ducks recently announced a 2020 schedule that included 70 games between mid July and September.
Bellone endorsed the idea and suggested that he thought it would be safe, with the proper precautions, given that the activity is outdoors and the Ducks are planning to have games played in front of a stadium cut to one quarter capacity.
“We are very hopeful that in phase 4, we will see the Long Island Ducks back and out on the field,” Bellone said. “We want to see the Ducks defend their title.”