Coronavirus Updates for Jan. 8: Post-Holiday Surge Results in Over 10,000 Active Cases in Westchester; Putnam Adds Over 110 New Cases

Following a similar pattern seen just after Christmas, Westchester County saw coronavirus cases increase by 1,019 just one week after New Year’s Eve.

The county now has a total number of 75,176 positive cases since the start of the pandemic, state data shows. There are now 10,039 active cases, a number that closely resembles what was reported last spring during the height of the pandemic.

County Executive George Latimer attributed the latest spike to indoor holiday celebrations, noting that active cases were approximately 1,600 around Thanksgiving.

“Although there were no public celebrations, individuals, people, families got together and they did what they thought was appropriate (and) they did it because they wanted a social connection, and now we’re seeing an increase of COVID,” Latimer said during his Thursday briefing. “It took us until late April to be in the same situation we’re in today. That should be a concerning measure for everyone.”

The daily positivity rate is currently 7.72 percent. That percentage is based on 13,201 tests taken on Tuesday, a record high number of daily tests administered in Westchester County since March, state data shows.

Overall, there have been over 1.49 million COVID-19 tests dispensed in Westchester since March.

The county reported 14 more deaths, resulting in a total of 1,711 COVID-19-related fatalities since March, according to the state tracker. This week 34 people have died from the virus, state data shows.

“We’ve been averaging three to 10 fatalities a night,” Latimer said. “Those numbers are significant when you look at the fact of how few people were lost of the course of the summer months.”

In July and August combined, Westchester recorded 11 total deaths. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, there were 165 COVID-19 related fatalities, the same number of people who lost their lives to the virus in the span of five months between May 23 and Oct. 20.  

Latimer added that 10 percent of the overall fatality COVID rate in Westchester County has happened in the last six weeks.

“If that isn’t a sobering statistic to think about when you think about how virulent the disease is then I don’t know what statistic you need to hear,” Latimer said.

As of Tuesday, there are 491virus patients in Westchester hospitals, a 36 patient increase since hospitalization numbers were reported on Jan. 2.

Putnam County’s total caseload has reached 5,436, with 116 additional positive cases recorded on Thursday. The county’s daily positivity rate is 10.12 percent, with 1,146 tests administered Tuesday.

Putnam currently has 1,098 active cases.

There have been 67 coronavirus-related deaths in Putnam. No new deaths were reported on Thursday.

Statewide there were 17,636 new positive cases on Thursday. The daily positivity rate is 7.39 percent.

The state recorded 197 additional COVID-19-related fatalities, bringing the death toll to 31,164 since March.

Total hospitalizations are at 8,548, a decrease of 117 over the previous day. Across New York there have been 1,075,312 positive coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

“The holiday COVID hangover is here which is problematic enough, but with the introduction of the U.K. strain and the federal government’s refusal to help contain it with common-sense testing requirements for international travelers, our work has become that much more complicated,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday. “Despite this new challenge, New York is staying tough, and working with the health care community to ensure hospitals do not become overwhelmed. With those efforts ongoing, it’s as important as ever that we collectively stay smart and commit ourselves to taking the steps necessary for stopping the spread.”

Westchester Active Coronavirus Cases by Municipality 

Here are the active cases by municipality in Westchester as of Thursday. 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 – 32
  • Bedford – 137
  • Briarcliff Manor – 50
  • Bronxville – 48
  • Buchanan – 40
  • Cortlandt – 390
  • Croton-on-Hudson – 83
  • Dobbs Ferry – 89
  • Eastchester – 211
  • Elmsford – 61
  • Greenburgh – 403
  • Harrison – 259
  • Hastings-on-Hudson – 47
  • Irvington – 31
  • Larchmont – 48
  • Lewisboro – 62
  • Mamaroneck Town – 83
  • Mamaroneck Village – 265
  • Mount Kisco – 89
  • Mount Pleasant – 210
  • Mount Vernon – 488
  • New Castle – 71
  • New Rochelle – 845
  • North Castle – 95
  • North Salem – 47
  • Ossining Town – 60
  • Ossining Village – 364
  • Peekskill – 384
  • Pelham – 54
  • Pelham Manor – 67
  • Pleasantville – 50
  • Port Chester – 370
  • Pound Ridge – 31
  • Rye Brook – 102
  • Rye City – 143
  • Scarsdale – 71
  • Sleepy Hollow – 202
  • Somers – 208
  • Tarrytown – 116
  • Tuckahoe – 55
  • White Plains – 681
  • Yonkers – 2,320
  • Yorktown – 475

School News & Business Closures 

School Closures

  • Carmel Central School District will transition to remote learning through Jan. 8.
  • Brewster Central School District will be on a remote learning schedule through Jan. 8
  • White Plains Public School will be on remote learning through Jan. 8
  • Croton Harmon Schools will be remote through Jan. 8
  • Yorktown Central School District will be on a remote learning schedule through Jan. 8
  • Greenburgh Central School District has transitioned all schools to remote learning through Jan. 11.
  • Lakeland Central School District will shift to its fully remote model starting Thursday through Jan. 19.

Business Closures

  • In Peekskill, Factoria, River Outpost, and Fin & Brew will be closed for the winter out of an abundance of caution with coronavirus cases rapidly increasing locally. Restaurants will reopen on March 15.