(PHOTO: Rye guy and Westchester County boss George Latimer during his May 4, 2020 press briefing on COVID-19.)
Westchester County did not report an updated number of COVID-19 positive cases for Rye as of Monday, May 4, 2020. However in a COVID update Monday, Rye Mayor Josh Cohn reported 193 positives, a jump from the 149 Friday that he attributed to a “data dump”. “Rye, like all Westchester municipalities, received a data dump of backlogged case information, pushing our historical count to 193 positives,” said Cohn.
During his daily briefing, Rye guy and county boss George Latimer said the county was working on antibody testing, testing of nursing homes and contact tracing. The county will take the lead in antibody testing and the testing of nursing homes, and the state will take the lead in contact tracing.
Latimer is facilitating 400 Covid-19 Antibody tests a day for all Westchester first responders. The testing, conducted in partnership with Westchester Medical Center, began today at the Westchester County Center.
Latimer said: “We specifically want our first responders to first get this antibody testing. These are the ones we need to have healthy and on the job. If we have significant vacancies, we can’t provide the services we need to provide.”
The County Center, under the direction of the New York State Department of Health and the Army Corps of Engineers, has been retrofitted with medical capabilities to combat any potential spike in cases.
Testing will beginning with the County’s Departments of Public Safety, Emergency Services, Health, Corrections and Probation. Following these tests, the County will work with local city, town and village police, fire and EMS workers to test them for antibodies. This testing also allows for the donation of blood plasma that may assist in the fight against the virus.
The results of this testing do not guarantee immunity. Even if results show positive for antibodies, the person still must follow public health protocols such as wearing mask, social distance, hand washing. The presence of antibodies only indicates there was exposure to the virus. It is not known whether antibodies guarantee any level of immunity (total, partial, none) or for how long (days, weeks, permanent). Similar to a cold or the flu, individuals can still get a recurrence even after recovery.
On the nursing home front, Latimer said “It is our intent to test every patient in every nursing home in the county.” This is inclusive of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Latimer also stated he hopes the effort will be extended to senior citizen subsidized housing and group homes.
Just like everyone else, Latimer is looking at the NY State COVID-19 tracker for county and state level statistics on the pandemic. The COVID-19 numbers:
- Fatalities of Westchester residents: 1,101
- Fatalities at Westchester nursing homes – note reporting is only available for certain individual nursing & care facilities – State is not showing any reporting on Rye facilities (nothing on The Osborn home, Rye Manor or Vienna Senior Housing)
- Fatalities in Westchester: 1,220
- Numbers of persons tested: 100,272
- Tested positive: 30,097
- % Positive results: 30.0%
- Persons tested today: 1,662
- New positives today: 213