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Second COVID inoculations set for Friday, March 19: Town to follow state guidelines on activities

The 503 people, most of them senior citizens, who received initial COVID-19 vaccine shots at Shelter Island School at the end of February are to receive their second inoculations on Friday, March 19. Appointment times have been changed slightly to enable faster processing.

It’s expected that the inoculations at the school will close by 4 p.m. That’s largely because there is less paper work involved, and so what had been set as 20-minute appointments is instead expected to take only 15 minutes. Town staffers have contacted those people and most have been reached with messages left for a few, according to Deputy Supervisor Amber Brach-Williams.

While town workers can’t assist all residents in getting appointments, they are willing to help seniors who don’t have computer access or have difficulty responding to the online questions necessary to scheduling appointments.

Police Chief Jim Read told the Town Board at Tuesday’s work session that numbers of cases appear to have reached a plateau. He said Suffolk County is reporting 48 Island cases here, while his numbers estimate more than 70 people. The County Health Department, the chief has said, uses the home address given by those who test positive, which can be an Island address, or someone who is here but has a home address somewhere else.

At its height during a second wave of the virus, the county was finding about 12% of people who were tested had positive results. Chief Read said he believes only 4% to 5% of people testing are receiving positive results now.

More vaccine has been reaching the East End. If you are interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, Suffolk County has created a pre-registration option. When appointments open, the process to get one will be more orderly, according to county officials.

You can access an appointment site at vax4.suffolkcountyny.gov/patient/s/?fbclid=IwAR1A8tJQUUONgInPT0NQJ7gDr68pJPdbk43ztzlKAoYbbphfNkGLZjA6isc.

Ongoing information is also posted on the town website — shelterislandtown.us.

With more people getting vaccinated and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issuing an advisory that two weeks after taking a second inoculation of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines you can relax some restrictions, the town is adhering to New York State regulations about crowd sizes and what can open.

Meanwhile, the Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary has cancelled the Easter Egg Hunt. Supervisor Gerry Siller said he’s talking to Brett Surerus of Shelter Island Fireworks about the possibility of holding the annual fireworks event in July. He is also speculating that with distancing, the Fire Department’s Chicken Barbecue might be on in August.

With work underway to correct water filtration problems at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, the supervisor is hoping within a few weeks to be able to offer senior lunches on Mondays and Fridays to those who are fully vaccinated.

He is also hoping the Silver Circle lunches at the Senior Center on Wednesdays will be able to resume sometime in April.