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Home Government County Continues to Struggle with Local Numbers, 71 Dead in Westchester as...

County Continues to Struggle with Local Numbers, 71 Dead in Westchester as of Friday, April 3, 2020

George Latimer COVID-19 briefing April 3, 2020

Similar to the situation this past Wednesday, Westchester County on Friday continued to struggle to provide municipal level numbers. The county has been transparent about the difficulty in providing accurate numbers. It is not for lack of trying. Regardless, it remains a frustration point for this writer who is trying to provide as complete a view as possible to its Rye readers.

Rye’s Mayor Josh Cohn did provide a Rye number of COVID-19 positive cases in the city update late Friday — currently 45. That’s up from 22 just one week ago. And please remember to put all these numbers into context. The county promised to provide detailed local numbers for each Westchester municipality in its communication to media Friday afternoon, but there has been no update as of Saturday morning.

The county did report 71 dead during its briefing Friday. That number was only 10 a week ago.

A couple other items to note from Rye City’s update Friday night:

  • Landscaping confusion. The Rye buildings department moved to shut down construction this week, but there is continued confusion regarding the permissibility of landscaping: “We have not begun enforcement of a landscaping ban and will not until there is greater clarity, clarity that we will publicly announce. The County is requesting a succinct statement from the State,” said Mayor Cohn in his Friday update;
  • Banging Pots and Pans. Saturday (April 4th) at 7pm. Say thanks to everyone on the front lines of this mess. “The numbers cause us to reflect upon the tremendous effort our health care workers, first responders and all those engaged in essential tasks are making on our behalf. It is becoming a global custom for those of us at home to open a window or stand outside and make some noise at an appointed hour in salute to these people. How about it, 7 pm tomorrow, Saturday, clap those hands, bang those pots. Be there!,” said Cohn in his update.

The County Westchester Numbers and the Rye City full update follows:

From Westchester County:

“Municipality Name Cases

**TO BE UPDATED SOON**

Westchester County Numbers

  • Total # hospitalized (cumulative)             619
  • Total currently in hospital           418
  • # Hospitalized in Westchester County      380
  • # Deaths             71

NOTE –

  • Town numbers reflect the unincorporated sections of the part of town outside villages within the town.
  • Numbers reflect the actual residents of the municipality, not “zip code” residents who live in an adjacent community.
  • Data lags state number by as much as 3 days, due to State release of data to the County only after the tested individual has been informed of their status.”

And from the City of Rye:

“Coronavirus Update – April 3, 2020

Post Date: 04/03/2020 6:51 PM
Residents have asked me to continue to report the numbers that I receive, even understanding how time-lagged they may be. These numbers, then, are unofficial numbers from official sources. Total City of Rye positive cases – 45; total Westchester positive cases – 12,351,  of which 418 are hospitalized.  The saddest figure – 71 Westchester fatalities.  With regard to the positive case counts, it is not clear that once-positive individuals who have become free of the virus are subtracted from the positive totals — another reason to regard the positive totals as approximations.
The numbers cause us to reflect upon the tremendous effort our health care workers, first responders and all those engaged in essential tasks are making on our behalf. It is becoming a global custom for those of us at home to open a window or stand outside and make some noise at an appointed hour in salute to these people. How about it, 7 pm tomorrow, Saturday, clap those hands, bang those pots. Be there!

The State’s classification of landscaping as essential or not remains controversial, not just in Rye, but seemingly among State agencies, as well. At least one agency’s position has changed since my last letter. We have not begun enforcement of a landscaping ban and will not until there is greater clarity, clarity that we will publicly announce. The County is requesting a succinct statement from the State. (Note again here the helpful work George Latimer and team are doing on behalf of all Westchester municipalities in this emergency.)

We are continuing the mandated shut-down of construction projects, with regard for safety and with an effort to minimize attendant losses.

At our April 15th City Council meeting (which will be by video, see next item below, please), we will take up a possible extension in the filing date for applications for senior citizen partial real property tax exemptions.  We will be discussing a fallback from May 1 to June 16, in consideration of the difficulties that may be experienced under present circumstances.

Beginning next week, we will be restarting, on a phased-in basis, video meetings of boards, commissions and committees, and of the City Council in the following week. This will allow a resumption of delayed City business, though we will be looking to keep agendas lean in view of the awkwardness of video meeting practice. Our phase-in follows study of emergency amendments by the State of applicable law and testing of video technical capabilities. We will begin phase-in with the entities involved in land use matters. We will make clear in advance the procedures that will be needed in order to make these meetings work. We ask all to be considerate of our new methodology and bring forward only time-sensitive matters.

I have received concerns and suggestions from many regarding the new out-of-doors familiarity many of us are happily gaining with each other:

– This suggestion came to me verbtim, with attached link, from a Rye runner: With the limited recreational opportunities and warmer weather, we have noticed an increase in the number of runners and walkers.  Please remember (and tell your loved ones) that it is safest for runners and walkers to be on the side of the road facing traffic.  We have observed many young adults with headphones on running with traffic – they will not be aware of what is coming and at the mercy of the driver.  Runners should practice “defensive running” similar to defensive driving – defensive runners always look for oncoming distracted drivers, and making eye contact with the oncoming driver allows you to see what is going on behind the wheel.
-bicycles and skateboards have a natural affinity for the street, but are less comfortable (for all) on the sidewalk.

-Rye Golf Club, open for golfers (with social distancing rules), is not open to walkers, with or without dogs, runners or cyclists. No one wants to have hit the ball that strikes another.

-We should try to avoid pausing at entrances and exits to places (which we sometimes do to say hello or choose direction),  impeding the flow of socially distanced folks.

Please continue heightened awareness of the need for social distancing.  More and more of us are appearing careful of this every day. Please be especially mindful of giving a wide berth to seniors out and about. Parents, please guide your children.  As I write this, I am reminded how fundamentally unnatural all this is for us. But we have to do it.

Enough of that. It is a perfect April evening – damp and would-be-dreary, but for the bright new flowers all around.  And it is Friday!  I realize that for the many of us who are not-essentials or who are working at home, it may be hard to distinguish the weekend. But let’s all give it a try.

Mayor Josh Cohn”

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George Latimer COVID-19 briefing April 3, 2020

Similar to the situation this past Wednesday, Westchester County on Friday continued to struggle to provide municipal level numbers. The county has been transparent about the difficulty in providing accurate numbers. It is not for lack of trying. Regardless, it remains a frustration point for this writer who is trying to provide as complete a view as possible to its Rye readers.

Rye’s Mayor Josh Cohn did provide a Rye number of COVID-19 positive cases in the city update late Friday — currently 45. That’s up from 22 just one week ago. And please remember to put all these numbers into context. The county promised to provide detailed local numbers for each Westchester municipality in its communication to media Friday afternoon, but there has been no update as of Saturday morning.

The county did report 71 dead during its briefing Friday. That number was only 10 a week ago.

A couple other items to note from Rye City’s update Friday night:

  • Landscaping confusion. The Rye buildings department moved to shut down construction this week, but there is continued confusion regarding the permissibility of landscaping: “We have not begun enforcement of a landscaping ban and will not until there is greater clarity, clarity that we will publicly announce. The County is requesting a succinct statement from the State,” said Mayor Cohn in his Friday update;
  • Banging Pots and Pans. Saturday (April 4th) at 7pm. Say thanks to everyone on the front lines of this mess. “The numbers cause us to reflect upon the tremendous effort our health care workers, first responders and all those engaged in essential tasks are making on our behalf. It is becoming a global custom for those of us at home to open a window or stand outside and make some noise at an appointed hour in salute to these people. How about it, 7 pm tomorrow, Saturday, clap those hands, bang those pots. Be there!,” said Cohn in his update.

The County Westchester Numbers and the Rye City full update follows:

From Westchester County:

“Municipality Name Cases

**TO BE UPDATED SOON**

Westchester County Numbers

  • Total # hospitalized (cumulative)             619
  • Total currently in hospital           418
  • # Hospitalized in Westchester County      380
  • # Deaths             71

NOTE –

  • Town numbers reflect the unincorporated sections of the part of town outside villages within the town.
  • Numbers reflect the actual residents of the municipality, not “zip code” residents who live in an adjacent community.
  • Data lags state number by as much as 3 days, due to State release of data to the County only after the tested individual has been informed of their status.”

And from the City of Rye:

“Coronavirus Update – April 3, 2020

Post Date: 04/03/2020 6:51 PM
Residents have asked me to continue to report the numbers that I receive, even understanding how time-lagged they may be. These numbers, then, are unofficial numbers from official sources. Total City of Rye positive cases – 45; total Westchester positive cases – 12,351,  of which 418 are hospitalized.  The saddest figure – 71 Westchester fatalities.  With regard to the positive case counts, it is not clear that once-positive individuals who have become free of the virus are subtracted from the positive totals — another reason to regard the positive totals as approximations.
The numbers cause us to reflect upon the tremendous effort our health care workers, first responders and all those engaged in essential tasks are making on our behalf. It is becoming a global custom for those of us at home to open a window or stand outside and make some noise at an appointed hour in salute to these people. How about it, 7 pm tomorrow, Saturday, clap those hands, bang those pots. Be there!

The State’s classification of landscaping as essential or not remains controversial, not just in Rye, but seemingly among State agencies, as well. At least one agency’s position has changed since my last letter. We have not begun enforcement of a landscaping ban and will not until there is greater clarity, clarity that we will publicly announce. The County is requesting a succinct statement from the State. (Note again here the helpful work George Latimer and team are doing on behalf of all Westchester municipalities in this emergency.)

We are continuing the mandated shut-down of construction projects, with regard for safety and with an effort to minimize attendant losses.

At our April 15th City Council meeting (which will be by video, see next item below, please), we will take up a possible extension in the filing date for applications for senior citizen partial real property tax exemptions.  We will be discussing a fallback from May 1 to June 16, in consideration of the difficulties that may be experienced under present circumstances.

Beginning next week, we will be restarting, on a phased-in basis, video meetings of boards, commissions and committees, and of the City Council in the following week. This will allow a resumption of delayed City business, though we will be looking to keep agendas lean in view of the awkwardness of video meeting practice. Our phase-in follows study of emergency amendments by the State of applicable law and testing of video technical capabilities. We will begin phase-in with the entities involved in land use matters. We will make clear in advance the procedures that will be needed in order to make these meetings work. We ask all to be considerate of our new methodology and bring forward only time-sensitive matters.

I have received concerns and suggestions from many regarding the new out-of-doors familiarity many of us are happily gaining with each other:

– This suggestion came to me verbtim, with attached link, from a Rye runner: With the limited recreational opportunities and warmer weather, we have noticed an increase in the number of runners and walkers.  Please remember (and tell your loved ones) that it is safest for runners and walkers to be on the side of the road facing traffic.  We have observed many young adults with headphones on running with traffic – they will not be aware of what is coming and at the mercy of the driver.  Runners should practice “defensive running” similar to defensive driving – defensive runners always look for oncoming distracted drivers, and making eye contact with the oncoming driver allows you to see what is going on behind the wheel.
-bicycles and skateboards have a natural affinity for the street, but are less comfortable (for all) on the sidewalk.

-Rye Golf Club, open for golfers (with social distancing rules), is not open to walkers, with or without dogs, runners or cyclists. No one wants to have hit the ball that strikes another.

-We should try to avoid pausing at entrances and exits to places (which we sometimes do to say hello or choose direction),  impeding the flow of socially distanced folks.

Please continue heightened awareness of the need for social distancing.  More and more of us are appearing careful of this every day. Please be especially mindful of giving a wide berth to seniors out and about. Parents, please guide your children.  As I write this, I am reminded how fundamentally unnatural all this is for us. But we have to do it.

Enough of that. It is a perfect April evening – damp and would-be-dreary, but for the bright new flowers all around.  And it is Friday!  I realize that for the many of us who are not-essentials or who are working at home, it may be hard to distinguish the weekend. But let’s all give it a try.

Mayor Josh Cohn”