Yellow Zone Continues as Metrics Evolve
During today’s press conference the Governor reported that the #1 spreader of the virus is now small gatherings. Because these take place in people’s homes, there is not a functional way for the government to monitor it. The best way to address it is with an education campaign, which is now underway.
The good news from today’s press conference is that current protocols and restrictions have reduced the level of spread in bars, restaurants and personal services, and have somewhat reduced the level of spread in gyms. Mask wearing and school protocols have been highly effective. Now that we are in the holiday season, the concern about spread through small gatherings is especially high.
Governor Cuomo is shifting the factors that determine the level of restrictions. For now Ossining’s yellow zone will remain in place as NYS updates their metrics. One of the significant factors that is being evaluated is whether the hospital capacity available will meet the needs of the COVID-19 cases in a given area.
NYS is expanding the data that they share with Westchester County, and we can anticipate having more localized data in the coming days and weeks. The data shared with us regularly by the County is the number of active cases. It is hard to believe that one month ago today, on October 30, 2020, we had only 24 active cases in the village. That number has increased ten fold in a single month. The modestly good news is that the rate of increase has slowed.
We are continuing to communicate with County and State officials about increased access to testing and PPE in Ossining where we have demonstrated a significant need. The free COVID test site set up last week in partnership with Open Door, Westchester County and NYS filled up quickly. We anticipate being able to announce additional testing this week, and continue to push for ongoing testing access in Ossining. As the Governor acknowledged today, there are not enough tests. Our NYS assemblywoman and senator are helping make the case to the Governor and NYS DOH that because of our high positivity rate, Ossining should be prioritized for a dedication of testing resources.
Last week Ossining Police and community organizations distributed thousands of masks, hand sanitizer, and educational information. Education is proven to be the best method for addressing a public health crisis. The key to success is partnering with higher levels of government that have access to testing, PPE and educational materials, and maximizing the impact of those resources by working with trusted community groups who can most effectively educate hard to reach populations.
There was no village board meeting last week.
Join me tomorrow, December 01, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., for a Facebook Live at this link. I will provide updates on COVID and respond to questions on any village topic. E-mail me in advance or ask live during tomorrow’s virtual chat. The meeting will be recorded and available on the Village YouTube channel.
With COVID-19 infection rates escalating, I am limiting my in-person contact, and will not be at Village Hall for Open Office Hours. COVID-19 has turned our world upside down, and I am sorry for missing out on so many Tuesdays with you in person. If you would like to speak with me by phone, call or text 914-640-0575, or e-mail any time.
This week’s meeting begins with public hearings on proposed local law 8 related to special events and a proposed honorary street naming for Barrington Anthony Walker-Davidson. We will also have a special presentation from BFJ Planning with an update on the Comprehensive Plan.
One of the most satisfying votes I will cast as mayor will happen this week when we approve the 2021 budget with a 3.25% tax rate decrease.
Visit here to view the full agenda including the virtual meeting link.