Now many of those families, who rent, lease or own second homes, do not plan to return to the city in time for school next month.
A daily flow of traffic into Southampton Village continues. Many New Yorkers who headed to the village for the summer are now abruptly changing their departure plans as pandemic worries aren’t going away.
“My daughter is staying out here,” one woman said.
“There’s a bunch of people that don’t want to leave after Labor Day,” another woman said.
“Everybody’s concerned about their safety,” one man said.
“School enrollments out here have gone up,” another woman said.
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Several teens that spoke told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan say their parents have explanations.
“It’s a good idea because there’s less people,” one teen said.
“Everyone’s following the guidelines,” another teen said.
Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff and her family left the Upper East Side to head to their Southampton mansion.
“We are out here day by day seeing what’s happening with this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Shafiroff.
But, potential issues loom ahead. Without enough antennas and towers on the East End, cell service and internet issues are exploding with so many people working and playing remotely.
“It’s very frustrating because we rely on it for everything now,” one woman said.
“You can’t do your work, you can’t have your fun,” another woman said.
Schools are now sounding the alarm about overcrowding. There are public safety worries, too, about whether the infrastructure can handle the hundreds, even thousands, of more families.
“I think the Hamptons has to deal with it,” one man said.
“If you can work remotely and your office isn’t open,then why not? It feels more normal out here than in the city,” one woman said.
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“Many of them are making the choice to stay and will help actually provide funding to government that is continuing to deliver services during this pandemic,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
At a tourism briefing, there were messages of resolve.
“Now we’re seeing new seasons of fall and winter,” said Kristen Jarnagin, President of Discover Long Island.
With the influx of summer residents remaining, there is an economic bright spot — seasonal hotels, restaurants and cafes that normally close after Labor Day now plan to stay open.
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