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Shelter Island COVID cases up by 1 over last week: Booster event on for Nov. 9

Deputy Supervisor Amber Brach-Williams announced Tuesday that the number of COVID-19 cases on Shelter Island rose by one this week, bringing the total of those infected here to 83 since the Town began recording cases in early 2020.

Ms. Brach-Williams also announced that recorded cases were slightly down county-wide over last week, with the positivity rate at 2.6%, down from 3% last week.

The vaccination event being coordinated with Stony Brook Southampton Hospital to provide booster inoculations will take place at the school gym on Tuesday, Nov. 9. There are 600 doses of the Pfizer vaccines available, but Ms. Brach-Williams said Tuesday that half of the appointments for boosters have been filled. All morning appointments for Nov. 9 have been booked, with appointments in the noon to 5 p.m. slots available.

To register, go to the Town’s website at shelterislandtown.us. The Town’s Senior Services department is available to help those who might have difficulty navigating the online registration — phone 631-749-1059.

The booster is available to those who have had inoculations of the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, as well as Pfizer. You must confirm that your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine was on or before April 28, 2021 — six months and two weeks before the booster vaccine date of Nov. 9.  If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it must have been on or before Aug. 2, 2021. All those to be vaccinated should bring certification of their original vaccinations.

In other Town Board news:

When the Town Board recently adopted four of five recommendations for requirements to install nitrogen-reducing I/A (Innovative/Alternative) septic systems, Councilman Albert Dickson wasn’t happy. He believed the one item left out was critical to making a serious change to protect Island drinking water.

At its Tuesday Town Board work session, a proposed revision to the absent change was introduced that could fill the bill. It would provide that an I/A system would be required for:

• Any upgrade or replacement required by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

• Any single or multi-family dwelling that has a nonconforming septic system as determined by the County.

• Any changes to a house that increased the square-foot living space by 25% or more.

• Any increase in bedrooms not provided for in the original approval for a dwelling, including any room that might be used as a bedroom, in either a main house or accessory building.

“I know people don’t like mandates,” Mr. Dickson said, but soon, he predicted, regardless of what the Town does, homeowners will be mandated to install I/A systems by the County.

Before this recommended change to requirements can be adopted, a public hearing would be scheduled on the revised requirement.

In other business: Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill last week that would expand the Open Meetings Law, which gives the public access to governmental meetings in all municipalities. The expansion will require, by Nov. 18, governments to provide all documents that will be discussed at public meetings 24 hours before the meetings take place.

Ms. Brach-Williams noted that the Town had already been moving toward that goal, with its website publishing agendas of meetings on the Town’s website and providing some documents that will be under discussion. “It’s a work in progress,” Ms. Brach-Williams said, and the Town will be fully up to speed by Nov. 18.

“The rap on me is that I haven’t been timely with my agendas,” Mr. Siller said, and pledged to inform the public about upcoming items to be discussed at work sessions on the Thursday or Friday before the Tuesday meetings.