Westchester, Putnam Cleared to Enter Phase 3 Starting Tuesday

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The Mid-Hudson region was officially cleared to enter Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan for Tuesday as the percentage of positive COVID-19 cases continue to hover around 1 percent.

Phase 3 will allow Westchester and Putnam and five other counties to see the opening of indoor dining at restaurants as well as personal care services such as nail salons, tanning, waxing and tattoo parlors and spas and piercing facilities with safety requirements in place. All businesses with indoor services can operate at no more than 50 percent capacity.

Mask wearing and social distancing protocols must be followed.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said she was pleased to continue to move onto the next step on the road to a more fully functioning economy.

“Our calculated approach to watching our health measures, combined with the ingenuity, patience and commitment of our business community, has really paid off for us,” Odell said. “We continue to move forward in the right direction.”

In addition to indoor businesses, the size of gatherings will increase from 10 to 25 people, according to New York State’s guidelines.

As upstate regions continue to move through Phase 3, followed by the Mid-Hudson on Tuesday and Long Island on Wednesday, the percentage of new cases continue to hold steady or drop slightly. On Sunday, the statewide rate of positives stood at 0.97 percent. For the last 10 days, Mid-Hudson has remained within a fraction of 1 percent.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo pointed out in a statement that on Sunday there were just 10 COVID-19-related deaths statewide, the lowest number since Mar. 21. Total hospitalizations continue to drop, down to 1,122.

“In New York, we’ve been following the science and the data and the metrics from Day One,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We have the best numbers that we’ve had since this started today in New York.”

Restaurant owners are reminded that if the minimum six-foot separation is not followed and if patrons and employees don’t wear masks state liquor licenses can be revoked. If patrons notice a lapse in social distancing practices while dining and feel uncomfortable, they are encouraged to consider politely informing management.

Lodging an officials complaint at is also an option.

“The reductions in capacities have been determined with one goal in mind – to best protect both customers and employees,” said Putnam County Commissioner of Health Dr. Michael J. Nesheiwat. “Much planning and thought has gone into this phased opening and graduated guidelines at the state level. This is why Putnam and the Mid-Hudson region continue to move forward successfully.”

The number of deaths in Putnam County continues to remain at 62 with just two active cases.

In Westchester, active cases have dropped to 557 with COVID-19 hospitalizations falling to 89.

County Executive George Latimer said despite the good news, the public shouldn’t relax. On Monday, cases were on the rise in 23 states.

“None of us believes that we’re out of the woods,” Latimer said. “We hear stories about a second wave coming and we’re actually going to try and be ready for it when it does come.”

Westchester residents will continue to have increased recreation opportunities starting this weekend. Swimming pools at Saxon Woods in White Plains and Sprain Ridge in Yonkers will open with 50 percent capacity and mask wearing outside the water.

For Independence Day weekend, the Willson’s Woods and Tibbetts Brook Park pools will begin the 2020 swim season on Friday, July 3.

Latimer said starting this weekend, Playland beach will be open daily (except for Mondays) through the rest of the summer. Croton Point Park beach also in operation.

The county’s three miniature golf facilities opened late last week at Saxon Woods. Playland and Tibbetts Brook Park, he said.

There will be two screenings of family films at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla but will those be drive-in movies, Latimer said last week. On Friday, July 17, “The Secret Life of Pets” will be screened followed by “Wonder Park” on Friday, Aug. 14.

Both screenings will cost $20 per car with online advance ticket purchases only. Tickets went on sale for “The Secret Life of Pets” last Wednesday. Tickets for “Wonder Park” will go on sale on Monday, July 20 at 2 p.m. The public should visit to buy tickets.

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