64 Deaths in Westchester. In Putnam? Not Sure.
Westchester is reporting 64 deaths related to COVID-19 in the county but Putnam officials say they do not currently possess death total statistics.
“We don’t know if there have been any deaths,” stated Theresa Oliver, who is confidential secretary to Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “That is information that would come from the coroner.”
Oliver noted how her office receives updates from the Putnam Health Department, through Erin Ray Pascaretti, an epidemiologist and the spokeswoman for the health department.
“She has no visibility on the amount of deaths in PHC,” Oliver said of Pascaretti, using the acronym for Putnam Hospital Center.
Pascaretti, for her part, said she believes “that BES and the County Executive will be releasing information in the near future.”
The health department spokeswoman directed questions to Marcela Rojas, the public and community affairs manager of Putnam Hospital Center.
“All questions related to COVID-19 patients/deaths must be referred to the PC Department of Health,” Rojas explained over email.
A message left on the Putnam’s Coroner Office voicemail (and an email sent to Laureve Wilson with the office) has not yet been returned.
But Pascaretti noted in an email how “the PC Coroner is not sharing that information as they only respond to unattended deaths.”
An email requesting comment from Odell directly has not yet been returned.
Adam has worked in the local news industry for the past two decades in Westchester County and the broader Hudson Valley. Read more from Adam’s author bio here.