Covid-19 Update: Toll Increases as State Plans More Outreach

A record 779 New Yorkers died of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the second consecutive record-setting day in the epidemic, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday.

In addition 10,453 additional cases were reported in the state, bringing the  total to 149,316. There were a total of 17,008 infections in Suffolk County, with 2,247 in Huntingon. Islip, Brookhaven and Babylon cases exceeded Huntington. The county said 323 individuals have died, up 60 from 263 on Tuesday.

The new figures were reported as the state announced several initiatives to reach out to all residents to emphasize the need to stay home and stop interacting with others. Those efforts include a multi-platform, multi-language education and awareness campaign to reach residents of  all zip codes including hard-to-reach communities.

The governor launched the Instagram campaign, #IStayHomeFor, with Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez to help reach the widest audience possible.

    • Twelve Suffolk County correction officers have tested positive for COVID-19, along with one deputy sheriff. No civilian staffers have tested positive, and so far, no inmates have contracted the virus, the sheriff’s office said.
    • Seniors were warned again about scams related to the virus. Fraudulent companies are pitching COVID-19 insurance scams trying to defraud their Medicare accounts and steal their identities, warns the New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud. “Free” testing kits, vaccines and supplies – promising Medicare will pay are all part of the pitch. Medicare and other scams are rapidly rising against America’s 52 million seniors. Phishing emails, robocalls and door-to-door pitchmen are targeting seniors. Even pop-up street testing sites, visits to senior centers for “tests” and bogus hotlines have been reported, the New York Alliance says. The sham insurance deals typically urge seniors to reveal their Medicare number, and often other sensitive personal data such as SSN and credit card information.

Other outreach efforts include:

  • Go Paper” Campaign: In recognition of the fact that not all New Yorkers are on social media, the state has created the “Go Paper” campaign, which partners with delivery services including FreshDirect to print flyers – which encourage people to abide by social distancing protocols, wash their hands and stay home — and attach them to local deliveries. Starting this week, FreshDirect will include the flyers in 100,000 deliveries a week. The state is reaching out to local businesses and asking them to include the flyer with all deliveries. The flyer is available in English and Spanish here.
  • Nightly Newsletter: Launched on March 17th, this nightly email newsletter provides 190,000 subscribers with reliable facts and updates on New York State’s response to coronavirus. Individuals can subscribe to receive the newsletter here.
  • Leveraging Radio DJs: New York State is working with DJs at the state’s most popular radio stations in key communities to raise awareness about the facts regarding the spread of coronavirus and to share key crucial social distancing messages to their listener audiences.
  • LinkedIn: To engage with business-oriented thought-leaders, the Governor’s team uses LinkedIn to highlight messages on sourcing personal protective equipment, the impact of the private sector during the pandemic and the importance of mental health.
  • NY Hub on the Ad Council’s PSA Portal: NYS has partnered with the Ad Council to create a NYS specific hub highlighting our Stay Home, Save Lives messaging in English and Spanish. Assets include :30 and :60 second TV spots and pre-roll, radio spots, social media posts, online banners and OOH signs and billboards. Assets can be downloaded here.
  • New York State Department of Health Preparedness Messaging:  To ensure New York’s multi-lingual communities receive information to prevent the spread of COVID-19, The department produced a series of public service announcements featuring Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker. Those ads are airing in English on broadcast, cable and streaming video services with subtitles in Spanish, Chinese and Korean.  Public service announcements are also airing on streaming and broadcast radio, and print ads have been developed in multiple languages for placement in ethnic newspapers. DOH is also engaging in a digital advertising campaign targeted to reach all communities.
  • Highway signs and billboards: Individuals driving on the road are reminded of the governor’s  “Stay Home, Save Lives” by digital signage on major roadways.
  • Graphics campaign – Save a Life-Put a Life in Danger: Data shows that social distancing is working. To reinforce social distancing practices, this graphic campaign features a side by side comparison of crowded versus empty New York spaces.
  • NextdoorThe governor has launched a messaging program on the Nextdoor app to keep New Yorkers updated on important Coronavirus news including the extension of New York on PAUSE and social distancing practices.
  • Snapchat: New York State is working with Snap Inc. on filters that New Yorkers can use on Snapchat to spread the critical stay home message on its platform, which reaches 75 percent of all 13-34 year olds in the US. The filters will be launched this week and targeted specifically in New York.  Cuomo also recently launched his own Snapchat account — nygov — as a  way to reach young people across the state and provide critical updates.



Message from Dr. David Bennardo, South Huntington school superintendent, and Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart.




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