While we remain in unprecedented times due to COVID-19, and while many of us have had friends or loved ones fall ill and nonessential businesses remain closed, we still have reason to remain cautiously optimistic about our future, about the summer and about life on the East End. That reason is simple: Look at the efforts of our healthcare professionals, public officials, first responders, philanthropic-minded citizens and local entrepreneurs, and there is good reason to hope.
For starters, Southampton Hospital has exceeded expectations. Thanks to the work of Bob Chaloner, Robert Ross and all of our doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals working tirelessly, we have helped flatten the curve and treat patients in need. Due to generous donations from our community, we were able to deliver an additional supply of ventilators, oxygen helmets and oxygen tanks to the hospital to ensure we were prepared.
We were able to deliver tens of thousands of N95, KN95 and three-ply surgical masks and gowns to the hospital and our residents. We set up multiple drive-through sites for free mask distribution for residents in need. We delivered PPE to our first responders, nursing homes and schools. We also set up the East End’s first viral testing site with HRH open to all, regardless of immigration status or health insurance. We have also been working to introduce antibody testing in Southampton. The key for reopening business and to return to some semblance of normal life is to make testing widely available for all and to engage in voluntary contact tracing to minimize risk for others. We have received critical help from and worked closely with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and County Executive Steve Bellone.
There will be a new reality. Masks and face covers may become the norm. Face covers are critical, especially in supermarkets, grocery stores and retailers, so that we can help protect others, especially our parents, grandparents and seniors.
We are fortunate because we have excellent law enforcement, EMS, fire services and healthcare heroes across the East End, and we have a philanthropic-minded community that has a desire to help. It is a pleasure to serve you as mayor of Southampton Village and to work hand in hand with all together.