News List

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Coronavirus Update - May 19, 2020

Post Date:05/19/2020 10:46 AM
[If you don't get these messages directly and would like to, please go to, scroll down and select "City of Rye News and Information."] 

I am realizing with astonishment as I organize this email that there is a whole lot going on in Rye, a real uptick in welcome community activity. We are doing what people do, assess, adapt and overcome. Of course, getting kicked in the seat of the pants by the weather and the calendar doesn't hurt.
Before getting to Rye stuff, a quick peak at the NYS opening dashboard: The dashboard shows our Mid-Hudson region still short of the mark in the same two criteria as before, hospital deaths and new hospitalizations.  We are getting very close to satisfying the new hospitalizations metric.  The painful death metric trails sadly and is harder to predict.  If we look at our local numbers of active cases, yesterday Westchester was at 1,717 and Rye at 9 (asymptomatic, we hope), we can see that we should, we really should, satisfy these metrics soon. The dashboard shows us one additional criterion, number of contact tracers, that Mid-Hudson is expected to satisfy and that we can actually help satisfy. Time on your hands?  A paycheck wouldn't hurt? Love police procedurals? Dr. shows? Be a contact tracer, tracer supervisor or community support specialist. Apply at
A word, actually another few words, on face masks and social distancing in Rye. I receive messages from residents unsure of what the rule is, irritated by the rule or angered by those who don't follow it.  The rule, set out in Executive Order 202.17, has not changed, though periodically the Governor or his press office doesn't quite express it as written. EO 202.17 has been recently reaffirmed and the rule it states also appears in the new multi-state beach opening announcement.    The rule is: maintain social distance (6 feet!) in public or wear a face covering. (Please have a face mask with you in public, just in case.) Rye Town Park, fearing an overwhelming crowd when its beach opens, adopted an emergency "mask always" rule.  The rule elsewhere, though, remains social distance or mask.  Simple to articulate, but not so easy to learn to do.  Maintaining social distance is an act against our social nature. Most of us are face covering averse.  That said, I see us getting better at following the rule, week by week.
Most of us seem to understand that "distance or mask"  this has become a courtesy we owe one another. Not to say that there are not difficult places and, dare I say, difficult people.  A Rye street on a sunny Saturday morning, chock-a-block with families busting out of the work-at-home, school-at-home grind, is a challenge of the happy sort, and one that I know we will be able meet. Less accessible is the maskless runner who for unknown reason thinks that the downtown Purchase Street sidewalk, even as quiet as it is, is a good place to exercise. Your City, with its limited resources, has to choose carefully its moments and methods of enforcement. Yes, our police are very much out there doing their part. But our best hope is that more and more Rye residents will realize that the mask/social distance rule is weil-intended, not that burdensome and ultimately a matter of common sense:  we are faced with a contagious and dangerous virus, and, even as we are doing so incredibly much by "pausing" our lives, we are asked to take on this small additional burden to protect our effort. On the other side of the coin, we hope that Rye residents anxious to see greater adherence to the rule can make peace with the progress that is being made, as well as the imperfections of their fellow men and women.
We can't have a Memorial Day Parade, of course, but American Legion Post 128 has risen to the occasion by organizing a virtual Memorial Day observance, led by Commander Fred de Barros, that will begin airing on Rye TV at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day. Featured are the eloquence of George Latimer and the stirring vocals of Robin Latimer.  Also participating are Rev. Kate Malin, Post Adjutant Tim Moynihan, Terry McCartney and myself. Please make this part of your Memorial Day. 
Playland beach will be open Friday through Monday, subject to the multistate beach rules, most pertinently, 50-percent capacity and social distancing or masks.  The County views this four-day stretch as an experiment, with a further schedule to be decided.
Rye Town Park beach will open Saturday (still trying for Friday, but uncertain), also subject to the 50-percent capacity rule and the Park's own mask-always rule.
The City will open its tennis courts at Disbrow later this week, with rules intended to keep people safe.  We will start on a reservations only, singles play only (no lessons) , no waiting by the courts basis, supervised by City staff.  That's a lot of only-no's.  We hope there can be fewer if all goes well.
Pet groomers are officially open, subject to  NYS guidance.  Social distancing and masks required, of course. (Am I alone in envying those now shaggy, but soon to be dapper dogs, their spirit enhanced by a good haircut?), issuer of those great red and white lawn signs popping up all over Rye, offers the means of supporting a number of causes having particular needs right now (donors get a choice of where their money goes). After a very successful effort, is offering a last chance to donate before closing shop on May 22.  
The Rye Chamber of Commerce is offering "Rye Eats Local Bingo." Yes, there is room in this title for misunderstanding, but the game is fun and prizes are worthy.  Please go to the Chamber website,, Rye Rec is having "Date Night at Home" this week, not to be missed. [link?] And the Rye Farmer's Market will open Sunday, May 24, 8-2.
In a creative combination of DIY, cycle-cross and forestry, a small group of boys has been attempting to build a trail bike course in the woods between Disbrow Park and the Purdy cemetery. Unfortunately, their efforts have been destructive of some of the natural features many enjoy.  Parents, if one of yours is among the young, woody wheelmen, please ask him to lay down his axe and shovel.
Always a treat, it is Takeout Tuesday, a prime moment to start REL Bingo or to declare Date Night. Live it up. Eat well!
Mayor Josh Cohn


Useful Contacts:

  • People under self-quarantine or exposure to known case, call (866) 588-0195 or 2-1-1 to self-report
  • NYS Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline (888) 364-3065
  • Westchester County COVID-19 Information Call 211


NY Dept of Health Coronavirus Update

NY Dept of Health Contacts

County COVID Updates

Court Closing Information

The State is still eager to recruit non-working health care workers as volunteers in this battle. If you are interested, please go to

The Rye business Sew Happy is working on fabricating face masks.  If you would like to help out, please go to


Return to full list >>
Return to full list >>