Coronavirus Updates for Nov. 20: Westchester Adds Over 330 New Cases Following Yellow Zone Designation

Case of the coronavirus increased by 337 in Westchester County on Thursday as five municipalities receive a yellow zone designation due to mounting COVID-19 infection rates.

There have now been a total number of 45,672 positive cases recorded in Westchester since the start of the pandemic, according to the state tracker. With the additional positive cases, the county has 4,130 active coronavirus cases.

One more death was reported on Thursday, according to the state tracker, resulting in a total of 1,494 COVID-19-related deaths since March. The county’s positivity rate is currently 3.45 percent, a decrease from 4.91 percent that was reported on Wednesday, according to state data.

As of Thursday, there were 135 hospitalizations.

Putnam County’s total caseload has reached 2,306 since mid-March, according to the state, with 37 additional positive cases accounted for on Thursday. The county currently has a 4.62 percent positivity rate, state data shows. There have been 64 coronavirus-related cases in Putnam. No new deaths were reported on Thursday.

Putnam’s Deputy County Executive Tom Feighery noted the area saw direct correlation between people letting their guard down and COVID-19 transmission in the six days following Halloween when positive cases doubled.

“We appreciate all of the essential workers, especially all the Health Departments for their efforts and hope the public will do their part,“ Feighery said in a press conference.

Statewide there were 5,310 new positive cases, with the positivity rate clocking in at 2.72 percent. That state recorded 31 additional COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, bringing the death toll to 26,257.

Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus in Westchester & Putnam counties on Nov. 20

As Putnam County risks being placed in a yellow zone, portions of Ossining, Peekskill, Tarrytown, Yonkers and New Rochelle received the designation on Thursday, requiring specific zip codes to follow new restrictions and state mandates to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

As a result, there will be increased community testing, tracing support, enforcement, education, and compliance efforts.

Targeted areas include zip codes 10562, which contains most of the Village of Ossining and a small corner of the Town of Ossining; 10566 in Peekskill; 10591, which spans Tarrytown and portions of Sleepy Hollow; 10801 in New Rochelle; and areas 10703 and 10705 in Yonkers.

Port Chester remans in an orange warning zone.

“The yellow zones highlight where there is a concentration of infection and therefore we are now tasked with putting additional effort to try to reduce the infection into that area so we will not see it expand further and potentially cause life-threatening realities of Covid,” County Executive George Latimer said on Thursday. “These five (areas), we have begun the process of working with those communities prior to today’s announcement.”

New restrictions will limit mass gatherings both indoor and outdoor to 25 people, with restaurants scaling persons per table for both indoor and outdoor dining to four people. Houses of worship will now be restricted to 50 percent capacity and schools can remain open with mandatory weekly testing of 20 percent of students, teachers, and staff for in-person settings.

Latimer said the county will work with school districts to provide the testing it needs.

Businesses can remain open with no restrictions. However, if an area is increased to an orange zone, non-essential businesses, such as gyms and personal care, will be forced to close.

There are no restrictions on traveling in or out of the zone, nor are there restrictions on whether residents who live in the zone can go to work. Furthermore, all family visitation will be suspended at the Westchester County Jail starting Monday. Latimer said inmates will receive two stamped envelopes, with calling cards provided to families.

Violators who incite mass gatherings will be fined $15,000, according to state mandates.

To target micro-clusters, Cuomo instituted a program that will label certain areas red, orange, or yellow zones depending on the nature of the infection rate. The label would apply more stringent restrictions on gatherings, activities, businesses, and schools, in addition to the current mandates in place.

A yellow zone is the lowest of the three-tier system.

To be classified as a yellow zone, the lowest of the three-tier system, an area would need a 7-day rolling average positivity rate above 2.5% for 10 days and the addition of 10 or more new daily cases per 100,000 residents on a 7-day average.

Latimer stressed that additional measures need to be taken to combat the serious rise in COVID-19 cases and infections countywide. He hopes the community can work together to reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid advancing to the next warning level that would result in harsher regulations.

“The hope and the expectations is that by our efforts and actions, we will reduce the infections to a level sufficient to which an orange zone can be reduced to a yellow zone and a yellow zone can be lifted and that would resume the normal circumstances,” Latimer said. “But the numbers tell us that we are moving in a different direction.”

School News & Business Closures 

School

  • Ossining Union Free School District will be fully remote on Friday.
  • Peekskill City School District will be fully remote on Friday.
  • Putnam Valley Central School District will be fully remote on Friday.
  • The City School District of New Rochelle is going all-virtual, except for a cohort of special education students, until Dec. 3
  • Byram Hills High School currently has 19 students in quarantine through Nov. 30.
  • Valhalla Middle School will be operating on a fully remote learning model through Nov. 30. The Odin cohort will resume in-person learning on Dec. 2.
  • North Salem Central School District will reopen for in-person learning on Nov. 30.
  • Westlake Middle School will reopen for hybrid, in-person instruction on Nov. 30.

Business

  • Kisco Seafood will remain closed until all staff members have tested negative for COVID-19. The decision to shut down comes after possible exposure to the virus.
  • Basilico Pizza in Mt. Kisco will close until further notice after staff members displayed symptoms of COVID-19. The business will reopen after everyone has received negative test results.

Putnam County COVID-19 Health Advisories

Here are the latest health advisories issued by the Putnam County Department of Health. Those who worked at or visited these businesses on these dates and times are being asked to monitor their symptoms after members of the public tested positive for COVID-19.

  • Ministerio Internacional Campamento De Jehova at 407 Route 6 in Mahopac on Nov. 15 from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The advisory will expire on Nov. 30.
  • Mahopac Golf & Beach Club at 601 North Lake Boulevard from Nov. 12 to Nov. 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The advisory will lift on Nov. 29.
  • ShopRite Supermarket at 184 Route 52 in Carmel was exposed on Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The advisory will expire on Nov. 27.
  • World Gym Brewster at 1620 Route 22 in Brewster was exposed on Nov. 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Nov. 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The advisory will expire on Nov. 23.
  • Harlan Check Cashing & Financial Services at 1515 Route 22 in Brewster was exposed from Nov. 2 to Nov. 4 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Nov. 6 and 7 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Nov. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The advisory will remain in effect through Sunday.
  • The Home Depot at 80 Independent Way in Brewster on Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The advisory will lift on Sunday.
  • Red Mills Pub at 575 Route 6N in Mahopac Falls was exposed on Nov. 7 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The advisory will expire on Sunday.

Westchester Active Coronavirus Cases by Municipality 

Here are the active cases by municipality in Westchester as of Wednesday. 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 – 8
  • Bedford – 65
  • Briarcliff Manor – 20
  • Bronxville – 16
  • Buchanan – 10
  • Cortlandt – 85
  • Croton-on-Hudson – 20
  • Dobbs Ferry – 42
  • Eastchester – 66
  • Elmsford – 21
  • Greenburgh – 110
  • Harrison – 105
  • Hastings-on-Hudson – 19
  • Irvington – 13
  • Larchmont – 16
  • Lewisboro – 33
  • Mamaroneck Town – 28
  • Mamaroneck Village – 61
  • Mount Kisco – 68
  • Mount Pleasant – 69
  • Mount Vernon – 217
  • New Castle – 48
  • New Rochelle – 372
  • North Castle – 43
  • North Salem – 19
  • Ossining Town – 19
  • Ossining Village – 158
  • Peekskill – 145
  • Pelham – 16
  • Pelham Manor – 13
  • Pleasantville – 27
  • Port Chester – 241
  • Pound Ridge – 7
  • Rye Brook – 46
  • Rye City – 50
  • Scarsdale – 30
  • Sleepy Hollow – 75
  • Somers – 66
  • Tarrytown – 32
  • Tuckahoe – 17
  • White Plains – 184
  • Yonkers – 568
  • Yorktown – 150

If your business may have been exposed to COVID-19, please email ayoung@theexaminernews.com to be placed on our daily COVID-19 list. 

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