Storm Dampens Long Island Coronavirus Response

jones beach
In March 2020, Jones Beach opened as a coronavirus testing site. In January 2021, people began getting the Covid-19 vaccine there. (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

Stormy weather is impacting Long Island’s coronavirus response efforts as drive-through COVID-19 test sites closed for the day and medical triage tents outside hospitals were moved to prevent damage.

The moves came as the National Weather Service issued a high wind warning due to the potential for gusts up to 70 mph and a coastal flood advisory through 6 p.m. Monday. Forecasters warned that the winds may down trees, branches, and utility lines, causing power outages. PSEG-Long Island reported more than 16,000 of its 1.1 million customers were without power Monday afternoon.

“My team was speaking with our hospital people over the weekend about moving some of those triage tents outside of the hospitals, about securing structures, and about moving equipment,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said Monday. “There’s a pause in testing at outdoor testing sites like Jones Beach … If you have an appointment today, you’ve got to reschedule.”

Stony Brook University officials reported the same at its drive-through site.

“Stony Brook University will temporarily close its COVID-19 testing operation and Field ER located at the University’s “South P Lot” off Stony Brook Road on Monday, April 13, due to severe weather forecast,” the university said. “Pending any needed repairs, we expect to resume normal operations on Tuesday, April 14.”

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