“You see in the middle of the [New York State] seal two words, Excelsior - State motto. Ever upwards. Aspirational. We can be better. We can lift ourselves. Excelsior. And we added e pluribus unum, which is actually more appropriate today than when we started this process. E pluribus unum - out of many, one.”
– Governor Andrew Cuomo
The Numbers: Growing Towards the Apex
As reported by the Governor today, there are 102,863 positive cases of COVID-19 in NYS, an increase of 10,482 over yesterday. Westchester County has 12,351 positive case with an increase of “only” 784 since yesterday. To contextualize our numbers in Westchester, two weeks ago there were 1,091 positive cases in the County. Nassau and Suffolk Counties have edged closer to our aggregate but increased at a higher rate of 1,437 and 1,408 respectively during the past 24 hours.
Currently, 418 County residents are hospitalized, which at 3.4% is a low percentage compared to the State average. We have more than 3,000 hospital beds in Westchester, and the County is working to increase the number of beds. In total, there have been 71 fatalities in Westchester and 2,935 statewide. Over 40,000 residents in Westchester have been tested.
In addition to the above statistics, NYS reported earlier today that there are currently 14,810 hospitalizations across the state, an additional 1,427 since yesterday. Of these, 3,731 patients are in the ICU which is 335 more than yesterday. Fortunately, there have been 8,886 discharges, increasing by 1,452 during this same period.
Although we have not received an update to our daily statistics, as of Thursday April 2nd, there were 52 confirmed positive cases among New Castle residents.
Yes, the numbers are still alarming, but Governor Cuomo unequivocally made it clear he will do what is necessary to protect New Yorkers:
“I’m going to sign an executive order that says the state can take ventilators and PPE from institutions that don’t need them now and redeploy them to other parts of the state and other hospitals that do need them. Those institutions will either get their ventilator back or they will be reimbursed and paid for their ventilator so they can buy a new ventilator.”
There is still work and concerning times ahead, but NYS will continue its efforts no matter what needs to be done within our power and ability.
Stay Home. Stay Safe: Flatten the Curve.
On Wednesday afternoon, Supervisor Pool and other Northern Westchester Town Supervisors had the opportunity to participate in a zoom meeting with Derek Anderson, Executive Director of Northern Westchester Hospital. He gave us some statistics that we would like to share with you.
- As of Wednesday there were 56 COVID-19 patients in Norther Westchester Hospital.
- Test results now take 8-24 hours
- There are approximately 15-25 people per day coming into the ER, most are positive for COVID-19, but they are sent home to self-isolate and are not admitted to the hospital.
- The ER is open for regular patients. All COVID-19 patients are met at the door and use the triage doors, not the main ER entrance so that regular non COVID-19 patients can remain separate.
While Derek exudes calm confidence in the planning and preparation of NWH to respond to the community’s needs, he said this: “Please, please, please practice social distancing, so that we can avoid having to make uncomfortable end-of-life decisions about hospitalization and treatment.”
Your New Castle Town Board cannot stress this enough: stay home, stay safe, save lives!!
Social Distancing Part I: Taking Responsibility & Action
Officials from every level of government and residents of every community have voiced it loud and clear. If you leave your home, you must remain no less than six feet away from others. If you fail to do so you are not only inconsiderate and selfish, but you are potentially devastating those you love. Each one of us has a responsibility and parents must lead the charge. Make no mistake. You must sternly advise your children of the consequences of failing to adhere to this guidance. While the Penal Law may allow for an arrest and the issuance of a summons, know that the New Castle Police Department will respond to complaints of violations, break up loitering in close proximity and take the appropriate steps to ensure our collective safety.
Social Distancing Part II: New Castle Social Distancing Poster Challenge
Sometimes there is no better way to effectuate change than through hands on education and participation. Your Town Board and Recreation and Parks Department are excited to announce the New Castle Social Distancing Poster Challenge. Whether by crayon, marker or paint, we are asking school aged children to create the best social distancing poster for our home-grown campaign. See the flyer below for details.
Landscaping: Permitted, or Not Permitted, that is the Question
Many residents have asked about whether landscaping is considered an essential business. On April 2nd, NYS provided new guidance to what has been a moving target:
"Please note that landscaping for maintenance and pest control purposes has been designated as essential."
Our Town attorney has advised that maintenance includes things such as trimming trees, fertilizing, raking leaves, cutting grass, etc., but would NOT include planting flowers or trees (beautifying activities). This guidance was provided to local governments by Westchester County, and applies Statewide.
Violating Executive Orders: How to File a Complaint:
If you are aware of any non-essential gatherings or any non-essential businesses or entities operating in violation of "New York on PAUSE" please choose the appropriate complaint below.
File a complaint against your employer or place of work here.
File a complaint about a business, location or incident in your community here.
You may also call 1-833-789-0470.
Help for Small Business Owners: Assistance & Relief
The U.S. Treasury’s Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Applications will be accepted starting April 3rd and funding is limited. Do not miss out on this opportunity!
Westchester County is working to launch a small business assistance center to provide help to small business owners with applications for loans, paycheck protection program, etc. They are currently seeking volunteers, approximately 50 people, to assist with applications. More information will be forthcoming.
Remember, business owners can request designation as an essential business.
Congresswoman Lowey, Senator Harckham & Assemblyman Buchwald: Protecting All New Yorkers
Not only are we fortunate to have Governor Cuomo leading NYS in this time of unparalleled crisis, New Castle is lucky to have three other outstanding advocates.
Thanks to Congresswoman Nita Lowey’s efforts, the federal government funded $3.8 billion to the MTA. Congresswoman Lowey also secured $3,253,308 in funding for local Westchester governments and non-profits to expand housing, infrastructure, and economic opportunities impacted by the spread of the coronavirus.
Additional information from Congresswoman Lowey is available here.
Both State Senator Peter Harckham and Assemblyman David Buchwald have introduced and sponsored legislation relevant to COVID-19 with all of us in mind.
Among other bills introduced by these legislators and often with their joint efforts, Senator Harckham sponsored a state of emergency loan program for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations that would allow eligible financial institutions to make loans to small businesses with no interest during a 90 day grace period or 180 days following that period. Assemblyman Buchwald also introduced a bill to benefit our small businesses and not-for-profits by allowing for loans up to $75,000.00 from New York State that remain interest free for at least 270 days after the Coronavirus pandemic is over.
More information from Senator Harckham is available here.
You can sign up for Assemblyman Buchwald’s e-Newsletter here.
Thank you, Congresswoman Lowey, State Senator Harckham and Assemblyman Buchwald for your continued friendship with our New Castle family.
Property Tax Collection: A Reprieve in the Works
County and local tax bills were mailed to residents on April 1st. The deadline to pay your taxes is April 30th. The Westchester County Board of Legislators is currently considering legislation to greatly reduce penalties for late payment, to provide relief to all residents and those that have suffered economic hardship due to COVID-19.
The Town of New Castle has advocated for residents and supports this proposal. We will communicate with you when the details are known. However, we ask all residents – if you can pay on time, please do! Our local budget and the services we provide depend on these revenues. Unlike federal and state income tax, which is usually withheld throughout the year and sometimes refunded as a result of the annual filing, local and County taxes are collected through this annual process.
Every Day is Census Day: Do Your Part & Be Counted
Great news…New Castle has cracked the top 5 (#4) for self-response rate to the 2020 Census. But with only 55.1% of responses received, we still have a way to go. Field operations have been suspended, so word-of-mouth and personal testimony are going to be critical! The deadline to file your response has been pushed from July 31st to August 14th. Between now and then, we encourage all of you to treat every day as if it were Census Day!
One New Castle: One Family
In his closing remarks earlier today, Governor Cuomo stated:
“You know I remember post 9-11…without asking anyone for anything, the people…showed up in New York just to help. Tradesmen bringing tools, people bringing food, people [with] trays of cookies, whatever. They just showed up. Nobody asked. They just showed up.”
Just as people “showed up” without asking after 9-11, your community – old friends and new faces – will continue to show up for you. We on the New Castle Town Board – Supervisor Ivy Pool, Deputy Supervisor Jeremy Saland, Councilmembers Lisa Katz, Lauren Levin and Jason Lichtenthal – as well as Town Administrator Jill Shapiro, hardworking Town staff and heroic first-responders,will continue to “show up” for the community we are all grateful to call “home.”