It is an understatement to say that the coronavirus pandemic has had profoundly negative impacts on the health and well-being of Americans, as well as the job market, personal finances and the economy. The devastation has been particularly painful for the metropolitan area, including Long Island. The Town of Hempstead’s proactive approach to dealing with the crisis has helped us to secure resources to do so.
What’s more, our partnership with neighbors across our communities has enabled us to expend those resources in a thoughtful and meaningful manner, providing needed assistance to individuals and business owners who have been hard-hit by the deadly virus. To be certain, we have accomplished much, but there is more that we can do together on the road to recovery from the pandemic.
Hempstead Town’s Road to Recovery initiative is a comprehensive approach to safeguarding municipal employees, protecting the public and assisting business owners. It has also been acutely focused on maintaining essential governmental services, restoring many welcome amenities that neighbors enjoy during these troubling times as well as providing life-sustaining food to neighbors. The town has even supplied funding to hospitals, which is being used to battle Covid-19. Much of the work we have done has been made possible by $134 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES, grant funding, which U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer helped to secure.
The challenges confronting the town have been significant, given the fact that our population is greater than that of several states. Indeed, the population density of our communities has apparently made us more vulnerable to the impacts of the virus than many other regions of New York and the country. In recognition of that, my administration created a Coronavirus Task Force, which was led by the town’s medical director, Dr. David Neubert, a certified Emergency Department doctor.
As the only town in our region with a dedicated medical director, we were able to quickly and safely establish protocols that helped us maintain and resume services with minimal interruption. From continuing our sanitation and recycling services with minimal interruption to offering clean and sanitary drinking water to residents, we took our mission seriously. Our government officials adapted to the pandemic, revising methods of collecting taxes, processing marriage licenses and handling building permits. We continue to modify procedures to make our government accessible to neighbors while ensuring the safety of employees and the public.