COVID-19 cases continue to spike in seven Great Neck villages

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The number of confirmed coroanvirus cases throughout the village of Great Neck increased by 30 over the past week, according to the Nassau County Department of Health. (Photo courtesy of metrocreativeconnection.com)

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases on the Great Neck peninsula continues to increase at a higher rate than a majority of other villages in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

According to data from the Nassau County Department of Health, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Village of Great Neck increased by 30, from 291 on Sept. 30 to 321 as of Wednesday morning.  To put that figure in perspective, the village saw an increase of 58 cases from Aug. 24 to Sept. 30, more than one month.

On the peninsula, Kings Point, the Village of Great Neck, Kensington, University Gardens, Saddle Rock, Great Neck Estates and Harbor Hills each have a daily increase of 0.2 or more cases on a seven-day average per 1,000 residents, according to county data.  The only other areas in Nassau County with figures that high are Lawrence, Inwood, Cedarhurst, Lido Beach, Woodmere and North Lynbrook.

Village of Great Neck Mayor Pedram Bral implored residents to abide by the state-mandated health and safety protocols, including wearing a mask or face covering and social distancing.

“We have been able to come back to some normalcy here, but that can go away if we become complacent,” Bral said during Tuesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting. “Please make sure to use your common sense and heed to the advice of the physicians and listen to the scientists.”

Kings Point has become another area in the Great Neck peninsula with a recent spike of coronavirus cases. From Sept. 1 to Sept. 30, the village saw an increase of 27 cases, to 168. In the last week, that number has increased by 18, from 168 to 186 as of Wednesday morning, according to Health Department statistics.

“As Village of Kings Point officials do everything possible to protect the health and safety of residents, citizens are urged to continue to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying home, practicing social distancing, washing their hands often and wearing masks when it’s necessary to leave the house,” a public notice on the village’s website reads.

Village officials declined to comment on the matter.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would meet with officials from communities with “hot spot ZIP codes” over the coming days.  Cuomo also said on Monday that religious institutions have been “a problem” in terms of trying to contain the spread of the virus.

“We know there have been mass gatherings going on in concert with religious institutions in these communities for weeks,” Cuomo said. “Religious institutions are mass gatherings and raise the greatest potential.”

Cuomo clarified that the religious gatherings applied to all religions rather than specific groups, but said he planned to meet with members of the “ultra-Orthodox” community.

“Whether it’s the Jewish community, whether we’re talking about Black churches, whether we’re talking about Roman Catholic churches, the religious community has to agree to the rules and they have to agree that they are going to follow the rules,” Cuomo said.

Bral also spoke on a “request to name and shame” certain members or groups.

“Despite some request to name and shame I will refuse to do so [e]specially to generalize about one community,” Bral said in a Facebook post.  “I did not like it when they did it to our Chinese-American community, I did not like it when they did it to our Black community, I did not like it when they did it to the Orthodox community, and I do not like it when they do it to the Persian community. Generalization [is] usually racist or can be construed as racist. We must all refrain from doing so. There are individu[a]ls in every community who do not abide by the guidelines.”

Nina Gordon, a resident of the peninsula, commented on an article last week in the Great Neck News about residents’ concerns about a lack of enforcement regarding face coverings that quoted Bral’s comments on naming and shaming. 

“It’s not ‘naming and shaming’ when there is photographic and video evidence of Persian weddings being held in violation of the law,” Gordon said in an online comment. “It’s speaking the truth. And the truth is, anyone who is holding large gatherings is breaking the law and endangering our entire Great Neck community.”

Gordon drew a response from several other online users, one of whom said her criticism of Bral was unwarranted and accused her of shaming the Persian community.

“No other mayor in Great Neck has informed the public about how to stay safe during the Covid pandemic more than Bral,” the user said. “It seems that your goal is to shame the Persian community, when noncompliance is not limited to one group.”

“If you or whoever doesn’t like the fact that people in Great Neck don’t wear masks, put your house up for sale and move to another town or country like China that adheres to masks,” another user said. “If you choose to stay in Great Neck, stay indoors and zip your mouth.”

These comments piggybacked off other Great Neck residents’ comments regarding a lack of respect from groups of typically younger people mocking those who wear masks even when outside where social distancing can be adhered to.

Village of Great Neck resident Jean Pierce said she went to check in on a friend when she noticed a group of people beginning to mock her and verbally insult her for wearing a mask on the sidewalk.

“People literally laugh at you if you put [a mask] on,” she said. “I had one man tell me that because I’m old, I shouldn’t even be walking outside.  People just don’t get it. It’s like the virus doesn’t exist to them.”

Marnie Ives of Krön Chocolatier on Middle Neck Road said she hopes residents listen to the pleas of elected officials to wear a mask and maintain social distancing so that businesses on the peninsula do not have to go through another shutdown, something not all can afford to do.

“If people thought that the business district of Great Neck Plaza and Middle Neck Road wasn’t in great shape before, many businesses will not be able to come back again if another shutdown occurs,” Ives said.

Ives said she has seen instances of younger people not abiding by the laws, so she has a face mask and sanitizer ready when people walk in.

“Kids may be out riding their bikes and want to come in for some chocolate, but they have no mask on,” Ives said. “I’m happy to give them a mask, but it’s a problem when they go into a store and could potentially be spreading the virus if they don’t have that protection.”

“I don’t think anyone actually likes to wear masks all the time, but if the numbers creep up on the peninsula, we’ll lose this downtown that is already suffering,” she said.

12 COMMENTS

  1. People of Great Neck:
    It would be great if our Mayors could send a clear message, in some fashion, that we MUST WEAR MASKS, SOCIALLY DISTANCE, WASH OUR HANDS, GET TESTED AND QUARANTINE AS NECESSARY, DO CONTACT TRACING. Mayor Bral has made efforts to communicate, but they have not been effective thus far. I would like to see him, and the other mayors as well, do more. Regardless, we are all responsible adults who presumably care about our own health and the health of our families, friends, and neighbors. Stop ignoring the reality all around you!! Covid-19 has killed over 200,000 Americans. Even if we don’t get a clear, consistent message from our leaders, WE ALL KNOW WHAT TO DO!! BE SMART—JUST DO IT!!!!

  2. The remarks above stating zip up your mouth, stay in your house, sell your house shows a clear lack of respect for others, a selfishness, and definitely a lack of intelligence that shows Leslie these people do not understand science. It is that attitude that has ruined our once beautiful, multicultural, cohesive, hard-working community.

  3. The remarks above stating zip up your mouth, stay in your house, sell your house shows a clear lack of respect for others, a selfishness, and definitely a lack of intelligence that shows these people do not understand science. It is that attitude that has ruined our once beautiful, multicultural, cohesive, hard-working community.
    Maybe the Mayors or Governor should institute a fine for individuals who do not abide by protocols , who do not wear masks or social distance.

  4. As I told Mayor Bral at last night’s Board of Trustees meeting… NOT EVERYONE IS ON FACEBOOK. Posting a Facebook message is not an effective way to reach the entire village and publish an important public safety message.
    More than one person, myself included, have suggested posting signs throughout the village.
    And as of last night’s BOT meeting (10/6), Mayor Bral indicated that his Building Code Enforcement officers would be utilized for enforcement and encouraged to promote mask wearing and social distancing throughout the village. If these public servants actually do something about it, that would be great. We need real action and less talk.
    Additionally, I would like to reply to the comments in the article about “naming and shaming” and the horrendous comments that were made to me online for speaking the truth about large weddings being held by certain members of the community. If some people feel they are being “named and shamed,” it is because they have something to be ashamed of.
    We have public health mandates in force for good reason. No group is above the law, and those that continue to flaunt it should be called out.
    WNBC-TV ran a news story last week about large weddings being held, and they showed 3 examples: one in Jericho, one in Old Westbury, and one in Great Neck. One was an Indian celebration, one was Jewish, and one was unspecified. I posted the video clip online and not one person of South Asian background accused me of being “anti-Indian.” I am not anti-Persian – I am anti-COVID19. I don’t care what you are celebrating – if you are having a gathering of more than 50 people, you’re violating the law and endangering ALL our health. It is insulting and rude for someone to tell me to sell my house and move to China because I am concerned about my community’s well being… especially someone hiding behind a juvenile alias, afraid to post under their real name.
    Come on, Great Neck. We can do better than this. Tolerance for all, mask wearers included, and adherence to public safety laws. It’s not that difficult.

  5. I totally agree with you Nina and thank you for speaking the truth. For whatever reason some groups are just more sensitive then others but it’s the truth and they need to hear it. If people can just get over the fact that it’s not said because we are anti- whatever but rather trying to pin point the issues and put out the fire. People are just too damn sensitive these days, grow some thicker skin and abide by the rules. This will all be over with. Continue to dance around and ignore the real reasons and watch the town get shut down by the governor!

  6. I went to London Optical today and after reading this am concerned about my own health. But I must say a mother came in with her son and they were Orthodox Jews and he took his mask off when approaching the eye glass case. That poses a danger to everyone on the store so I encourage shop owners to enforce the mask requirement and require patrons to sanitize their hands before trying on eyeglasses etc. They should also wipe down the doorknobs, seats etc after patrons leave. People working in stores must also wear masks at all times and purchasing air purifiers with hepa filters would be helpful as the season is changing.

    • I was walking on Steamboat Road today and there were some Latin Americans Christians walking without masks.

      Do you really think we need to stereotype or point out religions? It is such a stupid thing to do.

      • The only people who are stereotyping or pointing out religions are you and Mayor Bral. The rest of us are pointing out THOSE WHO DO NOT COMPLY WITH PUBLIC HEALTH LAWS.

  7. 100% agree with NINA, I live in old mill road next to a Temple, they don’t wear mask they stand up in from of people homes to talk loud laught screaming at the kids, without mask and when you walking you have to go in the middle of the street because they think they own the sidewalk,lets show more respect for others.

  8. I live near Great Neck North public school and I see children of all races and religions not wearing masks when they are on school premises.

    It’s not just the Orthodox Jews or Iranian Jews. If you single out any religion or culture you’re a racist and a moron. I have security camera footage of all the children who walk past my house to go to school. Most of the students (and adults) who aren’t wearing masks aren’t even Jewish. Get your facts straight.

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