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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for Residents:March 15, 2020 at 5:45 PM.
Today’s Update:The Governor today confirmed 69 additional COVID-19 cases in New York State, bringing the total to 729. 196 of those cases (18 new cases) are in Westchester County. Coronavirus is now present in 20 NY counties and New York City. We have not received an updated White Plains number from the County as of today. We will share an update with you as soon as we receive it.
We know that like us, many residents are concerned with the availability of testing. The state has been ramping up its ability to test. It reports that 5,272 people have been tested so far. 442 of that number have been tested since yesterday. We do expect additional testing options to come online soon and expect to be able to share additional details with you in the coming days.
If you are experiencing symptoms associated with coronavirus, please call either the White Plains Hospital Hotline at (914) 681-2900 or the NYS Dept of Health Hotline at 1-888-364-3065. Professional staff will screen you over the phone by asking you a series of questions and assess your need for testing.
The Governor is asking private business to aggressively consider working from home and voluntary closings, if possible. At this time, he is not mandating closures but he indicated he would consider that if the spread of the virus does not slow. We have talked a lot in our daily postings about social distancing and reducing density. We cannot urge our residents enough to take this advice to heart and do whatever you can to limit your interactions.
As many of you have heard, the White Plains School District has decided to close on Monday and Tuesday March 16 & 17. Dr. Ricca expects that further guidance from the state will be forthcoming next week. The school district has begun actively planning for a prolonged closure. Dr. Ricca and I have been speaking and coordinating regularly during this crisis and I support the decision he has made.
Out of an abundance of caution, the White Plains Public Library will be closed to the public starting tomorrow, Sunday, March 15th. We will be sharing more information about how you can use our virtual services in the days to come. In the meantime, we have a robust e-book and e-audio collection available, as well as many resources for streaming media, including Kanopy, an excellent film collection.
In connection with the school closure, the White Plains Youth Bureau will also be closed on Monday and Tuesday of next week.
Social Distancing & Reducing Density to Prevent Spread of COVID-19:The Governor announced measures aimed at further containing the spread of the virus by prohibiting gatherings of 500 or more people and requiring that gatherings of less than 500 people reduce their capacity by 50% effective March 13, 2020 at 5:00 PM. The Governor did not put an end date on these restrictions, but said the state is re-evaluating daily.
The state is advising businesses around the state to think about ways in which they can “reduce density” through options such as telecommuting and shift changes if possible. Reducing density (that is, reducing the number and type of situations that bring a large number of people together in close quarters), along with increasing testing capacity, is a top priority of the state as a means of stopping the spread of the virus.
Looking for More Information?In an effort to keep these updates to a manageable length, we have posted two new items under the heading “Latest News” on the home page of the City website, www.cityofwhiteplains.com. These items focus on:
Prevention information, including reliable links for public health information, and
City Program/Event/Meeting changes due to coronavirus.
These two pages are being updated regularly.
Thank you,Mayor Tom Roach