© 2023 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Suffolk 311 Service Handles Thousands Of Coronavirus Calls

Helmuth Pandora from Pixabay

A 311 call center for non-emergency assistance in Suffolk County, Long Island, has handled nearly 70,000 requests in its first year. 

Calls made to the center increased with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Live operators received nearly 47,000 calls since March.

Suffolk County expanded the hours and hired additional staff to monitor the call center. Requests for face masks, questions about COVID-19 symptoms, and guidance for small businesses were among the most asked questions. 

The call center has freed up  911 first responder dispatch to focus on emergencies. 

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.