Coronavirus Update (March 20): Six Peconic Landing Deaths

Update March 25, 10:45 a.m.

Peconic Landing in Greenport report a sixth death among its members Wednesday morning.

The member was an 89-year-old man who tested positive on March 22. He passed away Tuesday evening and had been receiving treatment for symptoms of Covid-19 at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital since March 23. The individual lived in the East Apartments for Independent Living and had no known pre-existing conditions.

“We continue to strongly urge our members to remain in their homes during this vulnerable time,” according to a statement from Peconic Landing. “If your loved ones are experiencing any flu-like symptoms: fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, please call the front desk and our Case Management Team will reach out to them to provide the support and guidance they need. Bereavement counseling for our members is also available.”

Peconic Landing is also now accepting messages of support to bring some light to their members and team . If you would like to share a message, please send it to wellwishes@peconiclanding.org

Update March 24, 7 a.m.

The Peconic Landing retirement community in Greenport has received notification of a fifth death amongst its residents in connection with Covid-19. The member was an 88-year-old man and resident of Harbor North for Assisted Living, diagnosed on March 22 while being hospitalized for symptoms of the virus.

“We want to express our deepest thoughts and condolences to his family during this extremely difficult time,” said Robert J. Syron, President and CEO. “This pandemic is unprecedented, and we ask for the community to keep their senior neighbors across the North Fork in their thoughts and prayers.” 

Update March 23, 3 p.m.

The Peconic Landing retirement community in Greenport was notified of its first positive diagnosis of Covid-19 in a member of Independent Living Sunday afternoon.

According to Peconic Landing, additional diagnoses are anticipated.

“The individual, the spouse of a Health Center resident who tested positive on 3/21, is currently being treated for symptoms of COVID-19 at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. The individual resides in the East Apartments,” according to the senior center. “Independent members have been self-isolating voluntarily since March 12. These individuals are age 62 and better managing their own health and wellness – some with the support of Home Health Services as needed. Independent Living at Peconic Landing is currently home to 301 members residing across 108 single-family cottages and 187 apartments on campus. Every Independent Living apartment and cottage at Peconic Landing uses a closed heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system – meaning air circulating systems are not shared amongst private residences.” 

Update March 22, 7 p.m.

Peconic Landing announced Sunday that the first member of its Harbor North assisted living facility tested positive for Covid-19, after being transported to Stony Brook ELIH Saturday evening.

“In accordance with quarantine and response efforts, we are closely monitoring all members throughout the health center,” said Peconic Landing in a March 22 statement. “Employee screening continues for all employees at the beginning of each and every shift. We also continue to strongly urge our independent members to remain in their homes to prevent exposure from the virus in the greater community…. The eleven members in our health center who have tested positive for COVID-19 remain in stable condition. We have two additional members from the health center still receiving care at Stony Brook ELIH. As reported yesterday, one of these members was admitted to the hospital for a separate medical issue last week.”

Peconic Landing also announced it is implementing grief and wellness counseling for its members and staff.

Update March 21, 7 p.m.

A fourth person has died at Peconic Landing from the new coronavirus, reported Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone in his daily briefing with reporters.

Mr. Bellone said the victim was a woman in her late 80s, bringing the total deaths to date in Suffolk County to nine.

Peconic Landing reported later Saturday that the member was an 89 year old woman who has been on hospice in The Shores for Skilled Nursing over the past several months.

“We also received notification from the NYS Department of Health that an additional member who was being hospitalized for a separate medical condition has tested positive for COVID-19. They were admitted to the hospital last week. This member also resided in The Shores for Skilled Nursing,” according to Peconic Landing. “There are currently 13 members who reside in the Health Center who have tested positive for the virus: 10 are in stable condition and two are in the hospital. Of the two in the hospital, one is receiving treatment specifically for symptoms related to COVID-19; the other, as mentioned previously, is being treated for a separate medical condition in addition to symptoms of COVID-19.”

Eastern Long Island Hospital Prepares:

Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital also announced its plan to handle COVID-19 cases in a letter to the public Saturday from hospital Chief Administrative Officer Paul Connor.

“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,” he said. “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 six, with two 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.”

Update March 20, 11 a.m.

Three members of Peconic Landing have died from the new coronavirus, the Greenport retirement community reported Friday morning.

According to Peconic Landing:

“Pending approval for the release of information out of respect for loved ones, we report the following at this time:

• Female, 96 of The Shores for Skilled Nursing, deceased 3/18, received COVID-19 diagnosis 3/19

• Female, 97 of The Shores for Skilled Nursing, deceased 3/19 

• Male, 96 of Harbor South for Memory Support, deceased 3/19, passed away in hospital

“All three members had underlying medical conditions and two were receiving comfort support at the time of diagnosis,” according to Peconic Landing. “The three members were residents of the Health Center, where COVID-19 was first detected on campus March 10 in a per-diem employee who had unknowingly been exposed to the virus.”

Peconic Landing’s Health Center is home to 86 individuals residing in four care neighborhoods: 37 in The Shores for Skilled Nursing, 13 in Harbor South for Memory Support, 24 in Harbor North for Assisted Living, and 12 in The Bluffs for Short-Term Rehabilitation. 

There are currently 12 members in the Health Center who have tested positive for the virus: 10 are in stable condition, one is in the hospital due to COVID 19 symptoms as of this morning (3/20), and one has been on hospice care since prior to diagnosis and all are being monitored closely. To date, positive diagnoses have been reported in The Shores for Skilled Nursing and Harbor South for Memory Support. Harbor North for Assisted Living and The Bluffs for Short-Term Rehabilitation are currently unaffected. The COVID-19 virus has not been detected among our independent living residents, which includes 301 members.

“On behalf of the entire Peconic Landing community, we offer our deepest thoughts and condolences to the families and loved ones these members leave behind,” said Carol Hance, Chair of Peconic Landing’s Board of Trustees. “The detection and spread of COVID-19 on our campus has been unprecedented. Our team has acted swiftly, beginning planning for a possible response in February and implementing these enhanced precautions starting March 2. We will continue to implement and enhance all guidelines offered by officials at county, state, and federal levels to secure and provide our members with the best response possible.”

The New York State Department of Health has managed oversight and testing of all individuals on Peconic Landing’s campus, determining who meets the criteria for testing. They will continue to manage testing. The Suffolk County Health Department has assisted with quarantine best practices to help manage the containment of the illness on our campus. 

Senator Ken LaValle, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, officials with Stony Brook Hospital, and PBMC Northwell Health have reached out to lend their support in helping Peconic Landing to secure necessary resources, with Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital assisting with care as needed. 

“Circumstances are changing day by day, minute by minute. Just yesterday we learned of the nine new cases and the three deaths being associated with the virus. Our focus remains on the health and well-being of our members. We ask you to provide us with the ability to focus our time on our members and the challenges that lie ahead,” said Robert J. Syron, President of Peconic Landing. “One of the largest challenges we are facing is securing personal protective equipment and we have been working on this for days. I am pleased that after speaking with Steve Bellone, our County Executive, last evening that he said we have his full support in getting the supplies that we need.“

“We must recognize our team for the dedication they have shown to our members during this challenging time,” he added. “Our mission has never been more meaningful.”

Original Story Follows

An undisclosed number of members of the Peconic Landing retirement community in Greenport were confirmed to have the coronavirus earlier this week, and Thursday morning “we received notification that we have more members with confirmed cases of COVID-19,” according to a statement Thursday from Peconic Landing, which did not detail how many of its residents were sick.

Three employees of Peconic Landing were among the first confirmed cases of the virus documented on the North Fork early last week. The New York State Department of Health is working with the retirement community on testing to determine the spread of the disease there, and “precautionary quarantines are being instituted to assist with the containment of the illness,” according to Peconic Landing.

The retirement community has about 450 members, who live in a variety of different living quarters ranging from independent cottages to apartments, to assisted living facilities, and has more than 300 employees.

“Unfortunately we are experiencing the same trend we are seeing in other communities. We are caring for those members in our health center as this is where we have had our only confirmed cases at this time,” according to the statement from Peconic Landing. “All members in our health center have been isolated in their suites and our care team is managing their care one on one. When a member has tested positive we directly reach out to each family. We have been in constant consultation with the New York State Department of Health and are following the protocols we have been given. This is a very difficult time and we understand and share the deep concern our members, their families, our employees and the greater community has regarding the overall outbreak of COVID-19 both locally and nationally.”

Visitation to the Peconic Landing campus was suspended last week after the employees were found to have the virus, and visitation to all nursing homes in New York State was suspended March 12 and will remains suspended until further notice. 

Peconic Landing is setting up Skype calls with family members. Family of people in the Health Center can call 631.593.8288 and families of Independent Living member can call  631.593.8210.

Peconic Landing is updating the public online.

Read our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis.

In Brief:

• There were 239 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Suffolk County, as of County Executive Steve Bellone’s update Thursday afternoon. On the East End the bulk of those cases are in Southold, with a total of 45 cases. There are 4 confirmed cases in Riverhead and Southampton towns, 2 confirmed cases in East Hampton and 1 on Shelter Island. Throughout the county, 27 of those people are hospitalized and 7 require intensive care treatment. There had been 1,512 coronavirus tests performed on Thursday throughout the county, as of a late afternoon count, up from 885 tests on Wednesday. Testing is available by appointment (888.364.3065) at the mobile site at Stony Brook University, at Northwell Health’s GoHealth walk-in clinics, and, in emergency cases, at local hospitals, and more testing sites are expected to come on-line in upcoming days. The criteria for testing had not changed as of Thursday: To be tested, you must be symptomatic and have had close contact with someone who tested positive.

Update 3/20: Governor Cuomo announced Friday morning that 100 percent of non-essential workers must stay home.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has updated his workforce reduction order to decrease in-office personnel at non-essential businesses to 25 percent — meaning 75 percent of the workforce at most businesses is required to stay home. Exemptions from the order apply to businesses that provide essential services including: shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions.

• Mr. Cuomo has also directed banks to provide mortgage relief to New York residents, suspending mortgage payments for 90 days with no credit score impact for those financially impacted by these restrictions.

• Peconic Bay Medical Center will lease the former Bishop McGann-Mercy High School, which is behind the hospital, for use in its response to the coronavirus pandemic, the hospital’s CEO, Andy Mitchell, said on Thursday. The land belongs to the Diocese of Rockville Center. The hospital will use the property for parking, and will also be able to use the buildings on-site if necessary. PBMC is also constructing at 16-bed intensive care unit for coronavirus patients inside a new addition to its campus.

• Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming said Thursday that county leaders have been in contact with grocery store executives who assure the county there is no problem with their supply chains and there is no need for residents to horde food. She added that consumers who are looking for bottled water should not buy distilled water because many people need to use distilled water for medical purposes.

• Ms. Fleming added that the North and South ferries to Shelter Island are asking travelers to avoid contact with their crew, holding their tickets out the window so they can be punched by crew members. Tickets to the South Ferry can be purchased online and scanned without passengers opening the windows of their cars. She added that Suffolk Fire, Rescue & Emergency Management has delivered a supply of face masks to 100 fire and emergency services agencies throughout the county.

• Greenport Village is creating a “Helping Hands” list to centralize the information of those that would like to participate in any upcoming volunteering efforts that may be required. Email Village Clerk Sylvia Pirillo at: spirillo@greenportvillage.org to provide your name, best phone contact information, email address and any ideas of specific ways in which you’d like to serve your friends and neighbors.

• Suffolk County is asking local business owners to take its Business Impact Survey at suffolkcountyny.gov/bru or call 311 for more information on how to register the needs of local businesses with the county.

• Tanger Outlets in Riverhead closed as of 5 p.m. Thursday, following the governor’s orders on the closing of shopping malls.

Read our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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