Coronavirus Updates for Dec. 8: Health Officials Urge Compliance During Holidays, Warn Infection Rates Will Worsen Come January

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Westchester County Executive George Latimer said on Monday the county is experiencing the “second peak” of coronavirus with active cases more than doubling over the last three weeks.

Cases of coronavirus increased by 516 on Monday, bringing Westchester County’s total number of positive cases to 55,187 since the start of the pandemic, according to the state tracker.

The new data comes after the county tallied over 700 daily cases for three consecutive days.

“We’re coming into Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s and we will not see our population vaccinated before that happens,” County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler told The Examiner. “Unless people listen and change their behavior, the numbers are going to continue to climb, both the number of cases and deaths.”

There are currently 7,925 active cases, with a 6.09 percent daily positivity rate on Monday. That number is based on 8,468 tests administered, state data shows.

The county reported five more deaths on Monday, raising the number of COVID-19-related fatalities to 1,534 since March. There were 19 deaths reported in the last week.

Latimer said during his Monday briefing that while the county has not reached its hospital capacity, there were just over 300 virus patients in Westchester hospitals. There are about 3,000 hospital beds in the county.

“It’s just sad, and it’s sadder because most of these things could be prevented if people just listened,” Amler said. “Unless people start getting serious and do what they need to do, we won’t see a decrease.”

Putnam County saw a sharp decline in daily coronavirus cases on Monday following a two-day intake of 224 over the weekend. The county reported 37 new cases, bringing the total caseload to 3,368 since March, state data shows.

The county’s daily positivity rate is 5.43 percent of 681 tests, state data shows. There are currently 896 active cases.

There have been 65 coronavirus-related deaths in Putnam County, with a new fatality recorded on Sunday for the first time in several weeks. There were no new deaths reported on Monday.

Statewide there were 7,302 new positive cases on Monday, according to the state tracker. The daily positivity rate is now 4.79 percent.

The state recorded 80 additional COVID-19-related fatalities, bringing the death toll to 27,232 since March.

Total hospitalizations are at 4,602, an increase of 160 over the previous day, according to state data. Across the state there has been a total of 713,129 positive coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

Here are the latest updates on Dec. 8

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in New York, restaurants and non-essential businesses could face closure or additional restrictions if hospitalization levels fail to stabilize and trend toward critical levels.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned on Monday a new initiative will place a particular region into a shutdown, similar to what happened in the spring, if its seven-day COVID-19 average indicates that within three weeks area hospitals will hit critical capacity. He said that would equate to 90 percent of a hospital’s volume.

“If hospital capacity becomes critical, we’re going to close down that region, period,” Cuomo said. “We will manage the hospital system as well as it can be managed, but if you’re going to overwhelm the hospital system, then we have no choice to go to close down.”

If restrictions are implemented, indoor dining would be prohibited in New York City, with the rest of the region restricted to 25 percent capacity. Any restaurant located in an area labeled an orange or red zone would only be allowed to serve via takeout or delivery, Cuomo said.

Currently, restaurants in New York City are restricted to 25 percent indoor capacity, with the remainder of the state allowed up to 50 percent.

To mitigate the recent uptick in hospitalizations, the state Department of Health has called for a 25 percent increase in all hospital beds and is imploring retired nurses and doctors to return to service. Those who return will have their registration renewed for free, Cuomo said.

He added that while New York still has one of the lowest positivity rates in the nation, the rapid rate of coronavirus spread is concerning, especially with the holidays approaching. More than 70 percent of the spread stems from small indoor gatherings, Cuomo said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, joined Cuomo during his press briefing and explained that the effects of Thanksgiving have yet to be seen, noting that a surge in cases will likely happen around Christmas. He characterized it as a surge upon a surge.

“If those two things happen and we don’t mitigate well, and we don’t listen to the public health measures that we need to follow, we can start to see things get really bad in the middle of January,” Fauci said. “Without substantial mitigation, the middle of January can be a really dark time for us.”

School News & Closures 

School Closures

  • Carmel High School will transition to remote learning through Jan. 8, with the remaining Carmel Central School District buildings beginning remote learning Dec. 14 to Jan. 8.
  • Peekskill City School District will close and shift to virtual learning through Jan. 4.
  • White Plains Public Schools transition to remote learning through Dec. 14.
  • All students in 6 East, Hybrid One and Two at Fox Lane Middle School will learn remotely at home through Dec. 15th.
  • All students in 8S, Hybrid One and Two at Fox Lane Middle School will learn remotely for the rest of the week.
  • Fox Lane High School will be fully remote on Monday.

Westchester Active Coronavirus Cases by Municipality 

Here are the active cases by municipality in Westchester as of Monday. With a lag between the total number of cases confirmed by the state and the tally of cases by town, the total number of municipal cases might be slightly different than what the county’s active cases reflects.

  • Ardsley – 34
  • Bedford – 149
  • Briarcliff Manor – 49
  • Bronxville – 44
  • Buchanan – 15
  • Cortlandt – 157
  • Croton-on-Hudson – 41
  • Dobbs Ferry – 59
  • Eastchester – 162
  • Elmsford – 46
  • Greenburgh – 227
  • Harrison – 173
  • Hastings-on-Hudson – 18
  • Irvington – 36
  • Larchmont – 29
  • Lewisboro – 85
  • Mamaroneck Town – 44
  • Mamaroneck Village – 172
  • Mount Kisco – 153
  • Mount Pleasant – 149
  • Mount Vernon – 335
  • New Castle – 55
  • New Rochelle – 600
  • North Castle – 74
  • North Salem – 43
  • Ossining Town – 24
  • Ossining Village – 266
  • Peekskill – 220
  • Pelham – 60
  • Pelham Manor – 30
  • Pleasantville – 43
  • Port Chester – 267
  • Pound Ridge – 22
  • Rye Brook – 53
  • Rye City – 103
  • Scarsdale – 67
  • Sleepy Hollow – 89
  • Somers – 106
  • Tarrytown – 82
  • Tuckahoe – 23
  • White Plains – 437
  • Yonkers – 1,176
  • Yorktown – 230

If your business or school district may have been exposed to COVID-19, please email to be placed on our daily COVID-19 list. 

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