Coronavirus Update - March 19, 2020
The County continues to report only one case of COVID-19 resident in Rye. We should expect that number to increase -- as numbers are increasing elsewhere in the County. This increase is in part attributed to the establishment of testing facilities and in part to the progress of the disease. As of yesterday, there were 538 confirmed cases in Westchester. The good news: of those tested, only 13 percent were found to have the virus. Let's take comfort in the fact that of all those circled for testing, a relatively small percentage had positive results.
Our conduct as a unified town in a county unified in the fight against COVID-19 is going to help us. It is going to save lives. Please hold that thought when the difficulty and frustration of our new day-to-day threatens to overwhelm.
City staff continues to perform admirably. Resident cooperation with our efforts to do City business electronically or through limited appointment opportunities has been excellent. We are taking further steps to allow more staff to work at home (as so many residents are). We are creating staff rotation plans, so that a staff member becoming ill does not incapacitate all colleagues responsible for the same municipal function.
We are putting such a rotation plan into effect with respect to our DPW on Monday. This means that, starting Monday, sanitation and recycling collection schedules will be modified to provide for one day per week, curbside garbage collection and one day per week, curbside paper/bottles, cans, etc. recycling collection. Please bring your trash to the curb on your currently scheduled first garbage day (Monday or Tuesday) and your recycling to the curb on your currently scheduled second garbage day (Thursday or Friday). Greenwaste, metal, electronics and food scrap recycling curbside collections are suspended. The Disbrow Park Resident Recycling Center and Food Scrap Drop-off Areas will remain open.
One DPW-related matter that is not a change at all is that our DPW workers are not tasked with coping with loose, unbagged garbage. Please be sure that all garbage is contained in an appropriate trash bag before being placed in the container for pickup. This is the rule always, but it is more the rule as we cope with COVID-19.
A few items of note:
-The County Department of Health is inviting retired MDs and RNs still able to practice to volunteer to help support front line medical personnel. The County promises to be sensitive to the age-related risk of COVID-19 in assigning responsibilities to these volunteers.
-Our collective cooperation with the census remains of great importance. The Census Bureau indicates that some field aspects of its work may be delayed or disrupted by virus concerns. Please make every effort to get your census information in, even if the Census Bureau is not able to be as helpful as it might ordinarily be.
-Con Ed intends to set up a multiple tent satellite area in the Playland parking lot to allow it to separate its emergency crews so as to diminish the effect of any crew exposure to the virus. The Playland parking lot also may be used as a location for COVID-19 testing or for a temporary hospital. This has been mentioned, but there is no further substance to report.
-The dance of social distancing is seen virtually everywhere, but now and then "congregating" crops up. Break it up, please, people!
-The Chamber of Commerce is putting together a list of Rye providers of food takeout and delivery that should appear soon on the Chamber website. This is a hugely difficult time for our Rye businesses. Please use them as best you can under the circumstances. Some Rye businesses may sell gift certificates that will allow you to pay now for services to be available in better times. Please consider these.
-Scams are cropping up relating to the COVID-19 fight. Be careful with whom you deal!
Thank you, Rye residents, and thank you, City staff, for taking up this burden with grace.
Mayor Josh Cohn