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More Westchester Communities Have Been Designated COVID-19 Micro-Clusters

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Photo by Stefan Radkte

As active cases of COVID-19 in Westchester top 3,400, New York State health officials implement Cluster Action Initiative restrictions.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and County Executive George Latimer announced in a briefing that the recent surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the county has led health officials to declare additional “yellow zones” according to the state’s Cluster Action Initiative (CAI) for controlling the spread of the pandemic. So far, five municipalities have been added to the list, in addition to Port Chester’s continuing designation as an “orange” or “warning” zone.

“Wearing a mask and social distancing is not an option – you must do it,” says County Executive George Latimer. “I do not want to see cases continue to rise; we must make small sacrifices now to protect the entire county.”

“Yellow zones” are the lowest classification on the CAI scale, below orange and red. Businesses and schools can remain open, however some restrictions will be put in place:

  • Non-essential gatherings (both indoors and outdoors) are limited to no more than 25 people.
  • Houses of worship are limited to 50-percent capacity.
  • Indoor and outdoor dining is limited to four people per table and must end by midnight. (All establishments with liquor licenses must already close by 10 p.m.)
  • Schools must quickly test 20% of students and personnel, and potentially implement weekly testing, following Department of Health guidelines.

The following municipalities now qualify as yellow zones:

New Rochelle (10801 zip code)

Ossining (10562 zip code)

Peekskill

Tarrytown

Yonkers (10703 and 10705 zip codes)

Additionally, parts of Rye and Rye Brook bordering the Port Chester orange zone are also under precautionary yellow zone status.

Orange zones increase restrictions:

  • High-risk indoor non-essential businesses will be closed (gyms, barber shops/salons, personal care services, etc.).
  • Worship will be limited to 25 people or 33% maximum capacity, whichever is lower.
  • Indoor dining is prohibited. Outdoor and takeout/delivery are all allowed.
  • Schools must be remote-only until/unless they implement new mass-testing guidelines.

If Port Chester can reduce its positive test rate for at least 10 days and ultimately stay below 2%, the village will be able to downgrade back to yellow zone status. If positive tests dip below 1.5% after an additional period, yellow statuses can also be lifted.