The Putnam Examiner

Putnam Residents Must Make Smart Decisions after COVID-19 Spike, Officials Say

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After Putnam County saw coronavirus cases surge after Halloween, officials are encouraging residents to be responsible and make safe decisions during the holiday season.

In a meeting with area county executives last week, Putnam’s Deputy County Executive Tom Feighery noted the area saw a direct correlation between people letting their guard down and COVID-19 transmissions in the six days following Halloween. Since Oct. 31, the area has seen 517 new positive cases.

As of Sunday, the county’s total caseload reached 2,362 since mid-March, according to state data. The county’s positivity rate is 3.1 percent, with a seven-day rolling average of 4.26 percent, as of Sunday.

There have been 64 coronavirus-related deaths in Putnam since the star of the pandemic, according to state data.

“What we’ve seen, and it wasn’t through businesses and it wasn’t through schools, it was primarily through family gatherings and parties, and unfortunately part of that is letting our guard down and fatigue,” Feighery said. “It didn’t help that Halloween was on a Saturday and the weather was beautiful and people were around each other way too long of a period of time in a social setting.”

He said the county has been lucky enough to avoid any micro-clusters, noting that businesses and school districts are doing a “phenomenal” job at following safety protocols and keeping the infection rates down. He said the safest place for kids to spend time these days is in a school.

However, Feighery noted that while the numbers are spiking, residents are having a difficult time accessing free COVID-19 tests. He stressed that residents must understand the virus is serious and still prevalent.

As cases continue to rise locally, Feighery hopes residents will remain vigilant to ensure businesses and schools aren’t forced to shutter if designated a yellow, orange or red zone by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The designations would require added restrictions be implemented to reduce the infection rate.

“The message really needs to go back to the families; take responsibility for your kids, your household,” he said. “Through the holidays make your gatherings small, keep it to a limited number of people and again keep the elder populations safe. If that’s not enough to make some habit changes, I don’t know what is.”

With Cuomo instituting new mandates limiting non-essential indoor gatherings at private residences to 10 people, Sheriff Robert Langley said he won’t be using police resources to enforce the states recommendations, rather asking residents to use their own best judgement to remain safe.

He said too many factors must be considered to determine if a home can carefully accommodate 10 or more/less people. According to Cuomo, local law enforcement is responsible for enforcing the mandate.

“Rather than issuing orders, which are, at best, impossible to enforce, and, at worst, unconstitutional, the Governor would better serve the People of New York if he encouraged our citizens to be cautious, use good judgement in weighing risk factors, protect the vulnerable, and enjoy our families and our great gathering traditions only in ways that are safe, until we can get back to normal,” Langley said. “As Sheriff, I see a better use of our resources than to disrupt families celebrating this national holiday.”

Putnam County COVID-19 Exposures

Those who worked at or visited these businesses last week during the specified dates and times are asked to monitor their symptoms after members of the public tested positive for COVID-19.

The Putnam County Department of Health issued a health advisory for those who frequented Mahopac Golf & Beach Club at 601 North Lake Boulevard from Nov. 12 to Nov. 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thea advisory will lift on Nov. 29.

The advisory also warns about ShopRite at 184 Route 52 in Carmel. Those who worked or visited the grocery on Nov. 12 from 110 a.m. to 5 p.m. are advised to monitor their symptoms after a shopper tested positive for coronavirus. The notice will remain in effect through Nov. 27.

Lastly, Ministerio Internacional Campamento De Jehova at 407 Route 6 in Mahopac was exposed to the virus on Nov. 15 from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The advisory will expire on Nov. 30.

Health officials are asking those to be aware of any symptoms relating to the virus, including fever, chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, or new loss of taste or smell. Other symptoms include, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

If you have any questions, contact your physician or the Putnam County Department of Health at 845-808-1390. Testing information can be found at

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