Numerous cities and towns on track to become orange and red zones as COVID-19 cases increase
New restrictions could be placed on many communities in the Hudson Valley as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed Monday that Port Chester, Peekskill, Ossining, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, New Rochelle and Yonkers are on track to become orange and red zones.
As of now, a portion of Port Chester is an orange zone, with the rest on the list being in yellow zones.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer says that his team has been speaking to the leaders of these areas to prevent this from happening.
"We had made PPE delivery in each of the major communities, we're trying to get them to organizations that reach primarily senior citizens and poor people, people who live in apartment complexes. They're the ones more likely to spread the disease or to be affected by the disease, and they're the ones that might have the least amount of resources in order to obtain the masks themselves," he says.
He says the county has had over 4,800 active cases of COVID-19, which is up from about 3,500 last week.
Hospitalizations are also up, with 168 people now patients - up from 79 two weeks ago.
"We have the capacity in the county for 3,100 hospital beds. We have the capacity for 260 ICU beds," Latimer says. "We may be called upon to pick up the slack that might occur in the Bronx; that might occur elsewhere in the Hudson Valley, so I would not be overly enthusiastic about the fact that we're here in terms of current hospitalizations with a capacity here."
Latimer also says that in an effort to curb a Thanksgiving or travel-related COVID-19 explosion, the National Guard will be stationed at the state's main airports Tuesday to make sure inbound travelers are following quarantine and testing guidelines.
Mayors and supervisors of these orange and yellow zones are now trying to figure out how to bring down the number of COVID-19 cases in their communities as Gov. Cuomo warned they may face tougher restrictions. Many leaders of these zones say they are meeting with county and health officials to come up with ways to slow down the infection rate. In Ossining, town and village leaders are working together and part of their plan is more testing. "We are setting up more mobile testing here in Ossining, which is hopefully going to be happening. We are hoping to have an announcement for things happening this week for local residents to be able to get testing,” says Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity.
Mayor Gearity say spikes in cases are primarily in more populated areas where people may live in close quarters and that because of the cold temperatures, people are inside more, making the spread more prevalent. She says that is a big issue that needs to be addressed and that people don't have the support or financial stability to not work and stay safe.
Free COVID-19 testing has been made available in Ossining at Open Door Family Medical on Main Street today and tomorrow, but you have to call to schedule an appointment.