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Rye Mayor Reports 39 COVID-19 Cases in Rye as of Wednesday, April 1st, 2020; County Tries to Make Sense of Numbers

As we wrote yesterday, there is some confusion and delay in the various reporting on COVID-19 numbers.

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While the county did not release local COVID-19 numbers yesterday, late Wednesday night Rye Mayor Josh Cohn released a coronavirus update with the Rye-specific COVID-19 case number at 39. That’s up from 36 on Tuesday.

In addition, Rye guy and county boss George Latimer told MyRye.com late Wednesday “We’re at loggerheads with State sources. We have gotten a huge influx of data in one night that was clearly an accumulation of multiple number of days. We cannot react with such a dynamic and so I suspended announcing local data until they can assure me of more up to date statistics,” said Latimer in an email.

“This is even more problematic now that there are fatalities and people will want those numbers even more urgently. The additional data you’ve requested is realistic but requires them to go further than have done so far. Will see if I can get this resolved Thursday.”

Cohn, in response to a question about how first responders are treating the reporting situation said “I do not know if the County Executive’s statement means only that the County will no longer publicly air municipality-specific numbers or if it means that municipalities will no longer receive our first responder information. The number of reported cases is already sufficiently large that City of Rye first responders are acting as if each call may include someone who is COVID-19 positive.”

The complete city COVID-19 update is below.

“Coronavirus Update – April 1, 2020
Post Date: 04/01/2020 9:20 PM
Our City number of positives today is 39. The County number is 10,683. Unfortunately, the County death toll is up to 64. I report these numbers with hesitation. The County has warned all of its municipalities that it sees the process of State-to-County reporting falling farther behind. The numbers we have been seeing therefore have been increasingly time-lagged and inaccurate. The County may stop providing us with local numbers until that lag can be overcome.

It has been good to see, just over the last couple of days, a greater observance of social distancing. I know we are not yet where we need to be, but we are getting better. Rye Town Park remains a focus of concern. Park administration is aware and trying to encourage uniformly good behavior. That is a challenge of course when the park paths are heavily used. If we each think, as we walk, not only of the distance we wish to keep for ourselves, but also the distance others will want from us, maybe we can perfect this. The park is a wonderful resource for all. I hope we can keep it that way through this emergency, especially for seniors and those at greater risk from COVID-19.

It is particularly difficult for young people to comprehend social distancing and the community benefit that we are collectively trying to achieve. It is hardest, perhaps, to succeed in getting the right response from those old enough to govern their own comings and goings, but still too young to understand the ramifications of their actions for themselves, let alone others. Parents, teachers, please reinforce the need for social distancing, even in the face of a young person’s overwhelming compulsion to play basketball, use the skate park or just gather with a few friends. This should not need to be a police matter.

Rye businesses are working hard to find ways to stay in business. Work with them, please. The Chamber of Commerce is actively undertaking resource and information sharing. Please go to Ryechamberofcommerce.com for a list of businesses open for takeout and delivery. And not just restaurants! Remember, too, the potential in gift cards or other pay-forward devices and consider the various Go Fund Me appeals. Merchants have plans that I hope we will see in the next few weeks for even greater outreach to us, their best customers. Please watch for this.

In addition to the Chamber, Rye businesses may wish to reach out to the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). SCORE is holding webinars on key topics in the present business environment. See scoreinfo@scorewestchester.com.

The State is still eager to recruit non-working health care workers as volunteers in this battle. If you are interested, please go to http://health.ny.gov/assitance

The Rye business Sew Happy is working on fabricating face masks. If you would like to help out, please go to https://www.sewhappyusa.net/

Today is Census Day. Just do it!

The process of working with contractors to shut down construction sites continues. Again, the City’s wish is for closure in good order, with as little injury to projects as possible.

Whether landscaping activities are essential or not has been the subject of continuing discussion among State agencies. As of tonight, the position is that landscaping is not an essential activity. The City, presumably along with other municipalities, will take steps to inform landscapers. The City will need to plan how to do this most effectively, given the nature of the landscaping business. Accordingly, enforcement activity will not begin until next week. Resident patience will be needed. We must proceed in a way that protects our police and other City staff resources.

We have received a fuller picture in the last day of how long and how costly in every sense this pandemic will be. We are all bearing many problems and the time horizon for doing so may appear farther away than we can manage. But let’s just declare that it is not. We can do this – though just one day at a time.

Mayor Josh Cohn”

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