Normally at this time of year, we would be welcoming the community back to the Pines with anticipation of the upcoming season. Unfortunately, as the coronavirus situation gets more severe in New York and Long Island, I have some urgent updates. Please read this newsletter carefully, especially if you are considering a return to the Pines.
Return to Fire Island
I have received a number of emails from residents who are returning to the Pines or considering it. I, myself, would love to come out now, but I have decided the better decision is to stay put, even in NYC.
At this time, Governor Cuomo has restricted all non-essential travel. If you want to return to your home, please consider the following:
If you are sick with any cold or COVID-19 symptoms, please do NOT come to the Pines; remember, the virus can be transmitted by people who are symptomatic, as well as those who are asymptomatic
While the Marine Police can assist you if you do become sick, hospital transfers are emergency situations and consume scarce resources
The ferry ride can make it difficult to maintain social distancing; residents who have returned tell me that they have felt exposed by the ferry ride over and the difficulty of maintaining social distancing while getting on/off the boat with many packages
We continue to receive daily reports from the Suffolk County Executive’s office of an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases
Residents who do return must self-quarantine for 14 days, starting with the day they get to the Pines; please do not go back/forth on weekends—this is not business as usual
The CDC has just issued a recommendation that everyone wear a mask in public; we urge you to comply
The Association continues to function. Our Community Manager, Karen McCutcheon, came out to the Pines on Friday and will try to be in the Pines on a daily basis (Karen is considered essential under the Governor’s definition of essential staff). She has posted signs throughout the harbor instructing people to maintain social distancing. Our staff is being trained in coronavirus procedures and CDC guidelines.
The FIPPOA office at Whyte Hall has been closed indefinitely. Our Board will hold its regularly scheduled board meeting on April 18th via Zoom. If you would like to raise a question, please forward it to Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Governor has ordered that all non-essential work be stopped, including construction and landscape work. FIPPOA has stopped routine maintenance work on Whyte Hall. The exceptions are work on homes that are exposed or could be damaged if not enclosed, and sole proprietor contractors working alone at a job. The Suffolk County Health Department and the Brookhaven Building Department have been in the community to ensure compliance with the Governor’s order.
We have been pressing weekly for the Army Corps to open the public access walks to the beach. The Army Corps has been reluctant to do so. Under their normal procedures, they would not open the walks until the project is completed and turned over by the contractor. This week, we received word that the Army Corps will open the walks as soon as the vehicular crossing at Coast Guard is completed, which is expected by mid-April. If all goes well, public access will be allowed by late April, and we will also be able to install an additional line of sand fence at that time. Additional grass plantings will take place in the fall.
Personal Protective Equipment has been ordered for the Mobility Cart drivers. Once the PPE has arrived, the Carts will be put into service. Keep checking our reservation number 631-597-3797 for updates.
The Post Office will resume its normal schedule on May 2, 2020, subject to safety provisions still being discussed.
We are doing everything we can to make appropriate adjustments in light of this pandemic. It is a difficult time for all. It is not normal springtime in the Pines.
Please take all necessary precautions and abide by Federal and State regulations, as well as CDC guidelines. And most of all, stay well.