Port Chester tightens restrictions as it goes into orange zone
Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly in one Westchester village, and now the state is taking more extreme measures to keep the situation from getting out of control.
Less than a week after going yellow, Port Chester is now an orange zone with new tighter restrictions:
- High-risk businesses like salons and gyms are closed.
- No more indoor dining -- only outdoor.
- Mass gatherings capped at 10 people.
- Houses of worship are limited to 33% capacity.
- Schools are remote unless there's mass testing -- Port Chester Public School students are learning from home indefinitely.
The village's seven-day positivity rate has been above 3% for 10 days now -- a situation officials say they must get under control.
Business owner Esther Giraldo of Sara and Yara Beauty Salon tell News 12 that the sudden changes are taxing. “That is terrible. The last time it was three months and now I don't know how long we have to stay closed,” says Giraldo.
The beauty salon owner further went on to say a second shutdown would devastate her business and negatively affect the few employees she has, who rely on tips.
L.A. Fitness is another high-risk business that is forced to close. One customer tried to get a workout in today but was met with locked doors.
"What it's doing is protecting the people, but I don't know if closing every business is going to work,” says Port Chester resident Leo Minchalo.
News 12 is told the village is increasing testing through Saturday at medical clinics such as Open Door.
Though things seem to be declining, Sonia Reyes of Port Chester seems optimistic. “We can kill this thing. I think it's not going to go away but I don't know they should close everything,” says Reyes.
The village expects to ramp up enforcement today, with police officers monitoring neighborhoods.
Mayor Richard Falanka is calling the situation a serious one. He urges residents to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines before the village slips into a red zone, which would warrant a full shutdown once again.
Residents who wish to make an appointment should call 914-995-7425 or visit the NYS Health website.