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Southold, Huntington declare emergencies over coronavirus pandemic

Visitors to Huntington Town Hall will undergo a

Visitors to Huntington Town Hall will undergo a more thorough screening after the town declared a state of emergency Thursday because of the coronavirus. Credit: Raychel Brightman

Two Long Island towns have declared states of emergency because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Southold Town officials became the first when the town declared a state of emergency Thursday afternoon.

The town has seven confirmed cases of COVID-19, a disease caused by the coronavirus, officials said.

All town office buildings were closed Thursday and all public meetings, hearings and town-sponsored programs have been canceled until further notice, according to a statement from Town Hall.

In Huntington Town, Supervisor Chad Lupinacci issued an executive order Thursday evening declaring a disaster emergency and temporarily closing some town facilities.

“Declaring an Emergency allows us to suspend competitive bidding procedures for the purchase of critical supplies and services, deny entry at any Town facility to individuals presenting symptoms or meeting the criteria of exposure for Coronavirus, and appoint personnel to fill vacancies or perform emergency services and duties,” Lupinacci said in a new release.

The town’s senior center at 423 Park Ave. and senior division facilities will be closed indefinitely beginning Friday, including the adult day care facility, the senior beach house, at 239 Little Neck Rd. in Centerport and all senior clubs, town officials said.

Frozen meals will be available during normal hours for pickup at the senior center facility, where employees will bring the frozen meals outside, officials said. There is no change to the home delivered meal program, expanded in-home services for the elderly program or residential repair services. Employees will be on-hand to answer calls from residents during normal hours at (631) 351-3253.

The town animal shelter at 106 Deposit Rd. in East Northport was closed to visitors and volunteers after an employee called in to report COVID-19 symptoms on Thursday. A thorough cleaning of the facility is underway. Staffing is limited to the minimum required to be on duty to maintain the care and feeding of the dogs, town officials said. Staff will continue to take in new dogs during normal hours of operation. The shelter is scheduled to reopen on Monday.

The parks department has canceled Saturday programs serving special needs individuals, town officials said. The Dix Hills Ice Rink remains open and town officials are working with leagues that use the facilities to coordinate preventive measures.

Although town hall remains open, additional signage and a more thorough screening of visitors will be implemented starting Friday, town officials said.

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