Featured Story

Three COVID cases in last week: Town urges caution and vaccination

Shelter Island has had three cases of COVID-19 in the past week. It’s unclear whether they are the original or the Delta variant.

That brings the Island to a reported 67 cases since the pandemic began, Deputy Supervisor Amber Brach-Williams said.

Town officials are listening to many of the warnings about the variant being more transmittable than the original and more serious for those not vaccinated.

Accordingly, anyone wanting to attend a meeting in person will be screened and must show proof they’ve been vaccinated, Supervisor Gerry Siller said at Tuesday’s Town Board work session. Others can follow meetings via Zoom.

Town officials are carefully monitoring changes in county, state and federal restrictions and are looking at possible restrictions affecting those who enter the Senior Center. It’s likely that only those vaccinated will be allowed into that facility.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave an overview to the latest stats on COVID-19 and noted how the number of patients hospitalized in the state has doubled since July 1 from 349 to 788. The number of cases has increased from 506 to 2,143.

During the week of July 19, the rate of hospitalization in New York was .19 per 100,000 among fully vaccinated residents. That rate jumped to 1.25 per 100,000 among unvaccinated.

The positivity rate in Suffolk County now stands at 3% on a seven-day average. There were 230 new cases reported on Saturday. There are 47 patients in Suffolk hospitals with COVID-19, an increase of six compared to one month ago on July 1.

Mr. Siller said he failed to wear a mask upon entering the IGA on Monday, but will resume doing so and advises that while it’s not currently mandated, others should do the same.

The town and the Shelter Island School District are awaiting further decisions from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

“We ask everybody to pay attention to this Delta variant,” Councilman Jim Colligan said.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have proven effective in avoiding hospitalizations for those who have been vaccinated. There’s still an opportunity for Islanders to get either the Pfizer or the Johnson & Johnson vaccines in the Parrish Memorial Hall at the corner of Lewis Street and Herrick Road in Southampton this month August. The site is around the corner from Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, and vaccines — either the Pfizer first or second dose or the Johnson & Johnson single inoculation — will be administered from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

No appointment is necessary. You need to bring a legal identification with you.

While the COVID vaccines are not currently mandated for most people, the Centers for Disease Control have advised that the Delta variant is highly transmissible and its symptoms are much more severe for those who aren’t vaccinated. Hospitals have been warning most of those who have reported with symptoms often have to be admitted and increasing numbers of patients are succumbing to the variant.