With tens of thousands of Long Islanders going nearly a week without power, some are turning to conspiracy theories to explain why it’s taking PSEG so long to restore their power.
One poster on Facebook told friends on a thread that certain crews had been forced to quarantine because they arrived from states that fall under New York's 14-day isolation period for travelers.
“So we have dozens of crews sitting in hotel rooms waiting to work,” one poster wrote, noting that trucks were seen unused in a high school parking lot “waiting for crews who are in hotels playing cards making double time waiting for the order to start work."
PSEG spokeswoman Ashley Chauvin said while the company doesn’t comment on rumors, that scenario was not true.
“Essential workers, such as the [out-of-state] mutual-aid workers providing restoration support whom you have identified, are exempted from the New York travel advisory and 14-day quarantine period,” she said. “We are following all New York State requirements for essential workers as well as CDC guidelines” for crews.
All contractors must follow their own requirements and the COVID-related requirements of PSEG Long Island, which she said exceed New York State requirements.
“All contractors are provided with our requirements before they respond to Long Island and are required to bring adequate COVID-related supplies such as face cover,” she said. “In addition, crews coming from restricted states are segregated and not mixed with other crews or company personnel, they cannot enter customer homes, and are screened upon arrival and every day while here.”
PSEG, which normally keeps two workers to a hotel room, has eased that rule to keep social-distancing protocols. Each worker gets his or her own room.