Bral cautions Village of Great Neck residents about socializing due to COVID uptick

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Village of Great Neck Mayor Pedram Bral (right) swore in new Trustee Eli Kashi (left) on Tuesday night. (Screenshot by Robert Pelaez)

Village of Great Neck Mayor Pedram Bral cautioned residents about socializing amid an increase of coronavirus cases in the village and on the peninsula on Tuesday evening.

According to statistics from the Nassau County Department of Health, the Village of Great Neck has the most confirmed cases of the coronavirus throughout the peninsula, with 256 as of Wednesday morning.  That is an increase of 39 over the last two months.

Since Sept. 1, the number of confirmed cases throughout the village has increased from 236, according to county figures.

While the uptick in cases may not seem significant to some over a 60-day period, Bral said he has heard troublesome reports about indoor parties. 

“I think its something we need to take extremely seriously,” Bral said during Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting. “There are many parties that are being held indoors with minimum or no social distancing and almost no masks.”

Village resident Amy Glass asked the board who is in charge of helping the village control the spread of the virus, and asked if a bulk phone call blast could aid in spreading the message of awareness to abide by state-mandated health and safety measures.

“The village does not have the ability to enforce this code, fire marshals and health departments are the ones that do so,” Bral said. “Our code enforcement are for traffic and for building codes. Besides that, unfortunately, we cannot go to people’s homes and stop them from having parties.”

Bral said the people having large, indoor parties without abiding by proper safety measures set forth by the state and federal government should be expected to be reported by others.  He also said that a robocall message will be set up for Thursday night to contact residents throughout the village, reminding them to abide by the safety precautions.

Bral acknowledged that the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are approaching and recognized that extended family members may be coming into the area to celebrate with village residents.

“I would like to caution and plead with everyone, please refrain from socializing,” Bral said. “If you are going to have your family come to your house, please hold these gatherings in an outdoor setting.”

To aid in accomplishing this, Bral made a motion to temporarily suspend the requirement for residents to ask the Board of Trustees for approval of temporary tents and canopies so that residents can be encouraged to stay outdoors for their gatherings.

“This does not take away the requirement to go to the Building Department for their approval and the fire marshal approval,” Bral said. “Again, please make sure that if you are putting a tent up, you do go to the Building Department and have their approval.”

Bral reiterated that the suspension of the requirement is temporary and will expire on Oct. 15.

Tuesday night’s meeting marked several milestones for the village.  For the first time since March, four trustees were present at Village Hall, with partitions separating each one.  The public was only allowed to be in attendance virtually, and Trustee Annie Mendelson was not present either, to comply with the social distancing measures.

The meeting was also the first official board meeting for newly elected Trustee Eli Kashi, who won an unopposed election to fill the seat of Norman Namdar. Namdar served on the board for seven years before stepping down for unspecified reasons.

“It does take a lot of dedication [to serve as a trustee] and I wanted to tip my hat to Mr. Namdar and his family for allowing him to come to our board and dedicate his time to the village,” Bral said. 

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