Coronavirus Update - March 21, 2020

From the Desk of Paul J. Connor III, Chief Administrative Officer

I want to say that I am very proud to be working with the dedicated Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital (SBELIH) staff, our local emergency services and the community leaders of Southold Town. They are working in great partnership with this hospital and it’s very much appreciated. But as you know, we are in unprecedented territory as our nation deals with a global pandemic, so I would like to brief the community on the actions we are taking at SBELIH to address the situation.

  • We have opened a discreet COVID-19 unit with dedicated staff. All patients who require hospitalization and have tested positive for COVID-19 reside on this unit. Also, patients who are “under investigation” for COVID-19 also are placed on this unit.
  • By next week we will have created three additional negative air pressure rooms bringing our total to 6 with 2 in the Emergency Department.
  • We are awaiting FDA approval to do local COVID-19 testing. We are hoping to ramp this up by the first or second week in April.
  • We are creating a plan to expand beds to handle a surge in COVID-19 patients. This is done in conjunction with Stony Brook University Hospital and Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.
  • We have brought in more staff to handle the additional patient volume.
  • We are screening all individuals entering the hospital including employees.
  • We have cancelled elective surgeries.

Access to the Emergency Department is permitted to all only after being screened upon entering the hospital; staff members included. We continue to offer diagnostic testing in our Lab and Radiology although we only draw blood until 10 A.M. daily. Please call Central Registration at (631) 477-5121 to schedule.

Like other hospitals, we are able to take specimens for COVID-19 testing for patients who meet criteria according to CDC guidelines i.e. fever, cough, shortness of breath. If you are not symptomatic, but wish to be tested, please call the Department of Health at (631) 854-0333. If you feel sick enough to come to the Emergency Department, please call us first at (631) 477-1000 and we will provide guidance on how to access the Emergency Department.

SBELIH's Sharps Disposal Program is currently suspended. Please utilize Town of Southold's Transfer Station in Cutchogue to dispose of your sharps for the time being. Click here for more information.

We need everyone to take this pandemic seriously. Stay home and limit contact with people as much as possible. We discourage play dates, parties, sleepovers and family events. We encourage individuals to take walks or runs outside and maintain a social/physical distance of six feet between other people. Reduce the frequency of going to the grocery store as much as possible, washing your hands thoroughly when you arrive home. If you feel ill, stay home and contact your doctor for further guidance.

We understand these recommendations may render a hardship for residents, families and businesses, but it is critical to take the necessary actions to limit the spread of this virus. I make these comments not to create fear in our community, but to bring forth awareness of the severity of the situation.

Thank you.

Paul J. Connor III
Chief Administrative Officer
Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital