Legislators, Staff Members Test Negative for COVID-19 After Latimer Postpones State of the County Address

At least 15 county legislators and staff members have all reported having tested negative Friday afternoon for COVID-19, a day after it was revealed that Legislator David Tubiolo (D-Yonkers) had tested positive.

Westchester County Executive George, who was exposed to Tubiolo and postponed his Thursday evening State of the County address, was tested for COVID-19 on Thursday and reported later in the day his test came back negative.

Officials said Tubiolo tested positive for the virus after attending the Virtual Italian Heritage flag raising event at the County Office Building in White Plains on Oct 1.

Since learning of Tubiolo’s test result Thursday morning, the Board of Legislators has been working with the county Department of Health to trace and test all legislators and staff who had contact with him him during the period of possible infection, said the legislator’s Director of Communications Jason Chervokas. The identities of the legislators were not immediately known.

Tubiolo is doing well and has been isolating since learning of his positive result on Wednesday, officials said. He has been working with the county Department of Health and contact tracers to identify those he has been in contact with. Tubiolo tested for the virus last Saturday.

“Unlike what we have seen out of officials in Washington, D.C., here in Westchester we believe in science, we believe in medicine and we believe in trusting their years of experience-based guidance,” Latimer said Thursday. “While it is disappointing, it is the safe and prudent move to postpone this speech.”

Along with Latimer, the event was also attended by Board Chairman Ben Boykin and Legislators Catherine Parker and Catherine Borgia. Additionally, District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, state Sen. Shelley Mayer, Westchester County Clerk Tim Idoni, and Director of Consumer Protections Jim Maisano attended the half-hour event where everyone appeared to be wearing face masks.

Members of the county’s Planning Department, Veterans Affairs Committee and those representing various Italian organizations were also in attendance.

“There was a particular public event last week in which a number of individuals may have been exposed, so the potential exposure is a fairly large circle,” Latimer said. “So we’ll see if this comes to pass.”

State Sen. Peter Harckham (D-Lewisboro) said Friday he tested negative for the virus. Harckham said he tested as a precaution because he had attended a Sept. 30 press conference in Ossining involving school superintendents, an event where Tubiolo was also on hand.

The Board of Legislators’ offices will be closed for deep cleaning, officials said, noting that Tubiolo was last in the office on Oct. 1. All legislators and staff who were in contact with him are being tested and the board is working the Department of Health to ensure that the appropriate protocols are followed for the health and safety of legislators, staff and the public, officials said.

The Department of Health is advising anyone who attended the Virtual Italian Heritage flag raising event at the County Office Building last week to contact their doctor or the Health Department to discuss testing.

No date was announced for Latimer’s rescheduled State of the County address. It had originally been postponed from April because of COVID-19.

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