Alleged noncompliance with red zone restrictions frustrates Hudson Valley communities
Many Hudson Valley residents and officials say noncompliance is still an issue one week into new red zone restrictions.
Ana Maeda is a Spring Valley mother who lives smack in the middle of the red zone. As her family takes extra precautions, she says some neighbors within the Jewish community are still sending kids to school, despite the state mandate to close.
Maeda’s kids attend East Ramapo, which was set to begin hybrid learning this week, until new restrictions hit and pushed it back.
News 12 captured three schools in the red zone open Thursday, and reported one of them as a test. The same school on Friday seemed to be much quieter, which may be a sign that enforcement is happening.
Still, more students were seen getting dropped off at some schools in the red zone Friday.
Yossi Gestetner, of the Jewish Orthodox Public Affairs Council, questions why some of the new restrictions aren't clear.
"Comply with what? With something the health commissioner admits isn't specific?” Gestetner says.
He is referencing a quote from state health commissioner in a legal brief for the Diocese of Brooklyn’s lawsuit against the restrictions, which says "there is no specific percentage…to determine when an area should be designated as a yellow or red zone."
While state and county leaders blame Towns of Spring Valley and Ramapo for failing to enforce restrictions, Town Supervisor Michael Specht says his outreach started in September as numbers climbed. He also says six town employees start enforcement with the state Monday.
"I understand how this seems to be targeting a group of people, but at the same time, as government, we have to ask everyone to comply," Specht says.