Suffolk residents can text "covidsuffolk" to 67283 to receive the latest developments from Suffolk County Department of Health Services, or call 311.
The Empire Plan Resources
The Empire Plan provides a NurseLine which has registered nurses available to answer health-related questions/concerns 24/7. The NurseLine can be reached by calling the NYSHIP phone number on the back of your insurance card: 1-877-769-7447 and choose option 5.
NEW- Remote Telehealth Services-If you are concerned about leaving your homes to receive medical care or therapy services, The Empire Plan will cover telehealth visits at no cost. See the attachment for additional information and step-by-step instructions to register. As you will see in the attachment, when booking an appointment, you will be asked for a credit card in order to move forward, however your card will NOT be charged as long as you use the coupon code below. For additional assistance, call The Empire Plan at 1-877-7-NYSHIP (1-877-769-7447) and select option 2 for the Hospital Program.
NYSLRS Disability Retirement- COVID-19
NYSLRS members who become seriously ill from the COVID-19 virus may wish to file for retirement in order to provide a continuing pension benefit to their beneficiary if they were to die, rather than the one-time in-service death benefit.
If this should become something an employee may need to consider, either they or Human Resources would need to file the disability retirement application. If an employee does not recover after applying, the disability retirement application would be effective upon death. If the member recovers, the disability retirement application can be withdrawn prior to approval.
Forms can be faxed to 518-474-3510 or 518-473-8190 or emailed directly to NYSLRS’ Disability Processing Unit at email@example.com. If Human Resources submits a disability retirement application on an employee’s behalf, the member or the member’s spouse, must file a Pension Payment Option Election Form to identify a beneficiary to receive the continuing benefit. The option election form must be notarized. An option election form cannot be filed by Human Resources.
For more information, visit the Disability Benefits Page (osc.ny.state.us/retire) on the NYSLRS website or call the NYSLRS Contact Center at 866-805-0990.
Eligible employees may also file for service retirement. However, a service retirement must be on file with NYSLRS at least 15 days prior to the retirement date, and a service retirement cannot be cancelled if the date of retirement has passed.
CCA COVID-19 Support- Webinars
Our Employee Assistance Program, CCA@YourService is fully open, operational and ready to support you during these trying times. Below are some pre-recorded webinars you can access anytime. For a full list of pre-recorded webinars, log on to www.myccaonline.com (company code: SCWA)
From the Desk of Kara Hahn, Deputy Presiding Officer, Suffolk County Legislator, Fifth District- 3/20/20
New York State has ordered all non-essential businesses to close on the evening of Sunday, March 22nd. Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and utilities are considered essential and will not have to close.
New York State has launched a new email system to provide daily updates about COVID-19. Additionally, Suffolk County has begun providing COVID-19 updates through SMS text messages.
To sign up, please visit: https://now.ny.gov/page/s/coronavirus-update to enroll in the State’s notification program and/or text COVIDSUFFOLK to 67283 to get updates texted to your mobile device from Suffolk County.
New York will implement a 90-day moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants. We will do all we can to help those financially suffering because of the #COVID19 pandemic.
For assistance in finding child care please contact the Child Care Council of Suffolk hotline at 646-926-3784. We are prioritizing child care for essential workers, including health care workers, first responders, grocery and pharmacy employees and others who are critical to keep our essential supports operational.
On Monday, all sit-down bars and restaurants, casinos, gyms and theaters were closed until further notice, with an allowance for sit-down establishments to provide takeout, grab-and-go and delivery during the period of this closure. On Thursday, all indoor portions of retail shopping malls, amusement parks and bowling alleys were closed.
Beginning Saturday, all barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing salons, nail salons, hair removal services and related personal care services will be closed and on Sunday, all remaining non-essential businesses are to be closed.
Grocery Retailer Senior Shopping Hours updates-March 20, 2020
Dollar General 8-9am-Daily
Stew Leonard 7:30-8:00am-Daily
Stop and Shop 6:30-7:30am-Dail
Uncle Giuseppe’s 7-8:00am-Daily
Giunta Meat Farm 6:30-7:30 M/W/F
Target 8-9am Wednesdays
Walmart 6-7am Wednesdays
New York State has directed ALL non-essential businesses to close by Sunday evening, and, if possible, for employees to work-from-home. Exemptions from the order will include shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions.
New York State has also approved legislation guaranteeing job protection and pay for New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of novel coronavirus. According to a summary of the legislation:
- Employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million will provide job protection for the duration of the quarantine order and guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.
- Employers with 11-99 employees and employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income greater than $1 million will provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave, job protection for the duration of the quarantine order, and guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.
Employers with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employers (regardless of number of employees), will provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection for the duration of the quarantine order.
New York State has opened a Suffolk County Mobile testing site. Testing is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. If you have symptoms and need to get checked, please call the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to be screened over the phone.
Sign-up for SMART 911
Suffolk County is encouraging residents to sign up for SMART911, which allows individuals and families to provide critical medical information to 9-1-1 and first responders well in advance of any type of emergency situation.
The information provided in a Smart911 Safety Profile enables the County to know who is at the greatest risk in our community. We can provide individuals with critical updates based on their location and health history. Additionally, Smart911 gives allows our community the chance to be proactive by letting officials, emergency operators and first responders know what our residents needs are how best to provide services in a time
If you are in need of Emergency Services, the Suffolk County Police Department is requesting residents who dial 911 to disclose any and all health concerns or symptoms in order to help protect responding officers and emergency service workers.
Managing COVID-19 Related Stress and Anxiety
The disruption COVID-19 has had on society and the normal routines of our daily lives has been profound. If you are having issues dealing with the added stresses that are result of COVID-19, the CDC on its Manage Anxiety & Stress page, recommends:
- Taking breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Taking care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Making time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connecting with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.