A Westchester village has become the first in the county to be designated as a COVID-19 “yellow zone,” due to the recent rise in cases in recent weeks.
Like the rest of the country, New York has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, prompting Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare part of Port Chester as a warning zone near the Connecticut border as the village has sustained an average positive infection rate above 2.5 percent.
Cuomo said that in response to the uptick in positive cases, the Westchester County Department of Health coordinated to provide rapid testing at Open Door on Grace Church Street in Port Chester in the coming days.
Rapid testing will be available at Open Door between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9, and Tuesday, Nov. 10.
Appointments can be made by calling (914) 995-7425.
According to the Department of Health, the statewide positivity rate in the “micro-clusters” has risen to 3.16 percent, while outside of those highly concentrated COVID-19 hotspots is at 1.84 percent, outpacing the numbers the state put up over the summer as New York sought to “flatten the curve.”
With Port Chester becoming a “yellow zone,” the Port Chester School District announced that all schools will transition to its remote learning model beginning on Monday.
Mitchell Combs, Port Chester-Rye Free School District Superintendent announced that “elementary schools will operate on the current AM and PM schedule, but everyone will be online. The Middle School and High School will operate on their full remote schedules that can be found on their websites.”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said that the Health Department will be distributing masks and hand sanitizers to groups in Port Chester, will meet with community leaders, and has launched both an English and Spanish educational campaign.
"Wearing a mask and social distancing is not an option — you must do it,” Latimer said. "I do not want to see cases continue to rise, we must make small sacrifices now to protect the entire county.
“This is not the time to panic, but this is the time to make adjustments to your habits and take precautions to protect yourself, and those you love, against COVID-19."
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