Earlier this morning, Governor Cuomo aptly stated, “It’s not just your perception. It’s not just you. It’s all of us.” While the Governor was certainly right, we, as a community, have stood together long before the Coronavirus arrived upon our collective doorstep and will continue to do so long after we have beaten back the virus that has uninvitingly infiltrated our lives. Although uncertainty remains and many of us are emotionally, physically and financially taxed, facts dictate that we will not merely endure, but come out so stronger than before.
New York State Coronavirus Updates – Sign Up Today!
The Governor’s office has created a new database to receive dedicated coronavirus updates. We encourage all of you to sign up and share this link: https://now.ny.gov/page/s/coronavirus-updates.
The Numbers: Increasing as Expected
Fortunately, New York State drastically increased its testing capacity from 200 people per day to 7,584 between yesterday and this morning alone. In total, 22,284 people have been tested for COVID-19 resulting in 4,152 confirmed cases as of 1:20 p.m. today. Such an increase was not unexpected. Simply, the more people tested the more positive cases we will find. Remember, we don’t need a test to know that the infection is among us whether people are presenting symptoms or are asymptomatic. Critically, the number of hospitalizations increased from 137 on March 15th to 777 today.
- March 19, 2020: 777 of 4,152 total confirmed cases. (19%)
- March 18, 2020: 549 of 2,382 total confirmed cases. (23%)
- March 17, 2020: 264 of 1,374 total confirmed cases. (19%)
- March 15, 2020: 137 of 729 total confirmed cases. (19%)
As a reminder, due to the expected need for beds and healthcare professionals, Governor Cuomo is calling upon retired doctors and nurses to offer their assistance. More information is available at: Health.ny.gov/assistance.
Positive Cases: Westchester & New Castle
No community is immune from the Coronavirus whether a test confirms it or not. COVID-19 knows no borders and across Westchester County there are 798 confirmed cases. Our most recent data, as of 3/19/20, indicates that New Castle now has four confirmed cases of COVID-19. Although these numbers are new, this information should have no bearing on how each one of us conducts ourselves in terms of following best medical practices, including staying at home and social distancing. Equally important, it is of no consequence to our continued respectful and compassionate treatment of each other.
COVID-19 Testing: Understanding Procedure & Process
Q: Can anyone get tested for COVID-19?
A: Unfortunately, you cannot just show up and get a test anywhere. In fact, many people who have signs and symptoms are not being tested because there are not enough tests. While there are two testing sites in Westchester, Glen Island and the Westchester Medical Center, the latter site is currently only testing its own patients. The County is actively pursuing additional locations to set-up drive-thru testing.
Anyone who is sick should call their healthcare provider and he or she will determine whether testing is necessary. For further information on testing, please call the New York State hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
Q: What happens after someone tests positive?
A: If you test positive, the Westchester County Department of Health (WCDOH) will commence a rigorous process to identify your contacts. They will inquire about your employment, where have you been and who you have been in contact with. The WCDOH will then contact those individuals identified during their investigation and instruct them to be tested or to self-quarantine.
Please know that personal health information is fully safeguarded and will not be publicly shared.
New York State Executive Order: New 75% Workforce Reduction
Barring an exception, Governor Cuomo directed businesses relying on in-office personnel to decrease their in-office workforce by 75 percent. Exempted businesses include shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions. For more information please see: No. 202.6: Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency
New York State Provides Financial Stability: Mortgage Directive & Paid Sick Leave
Governor Cuomo issued a directive through the Department of Financial Services to New York State mortgage servicers to provide 90-day mortgage relief to borrowers impacted by the Coronavirus. Contact your lender to determine whether you are eligible and the steps you need to take.
Further, Governor Cuomo signed a bill guaranteeing job protection and pay for New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of COVID-19. Additional information about sick leave is available at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/paid-sick-leave-covid-19-impacted-new-yorkers
Federal Government Economic Relief: Delayed IRS Payments & SBA Loans for Small Businesses
The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. The guidance also allows corporate taxpayers a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. Additional information is available at: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm948
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses in Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties that are "suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus." Small businesses, private nonprofit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives, and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially affected by coronavirus since Jan. 31 may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for private nonprofit organizations. The deadline to apply is Dec. 16, 2020. To learn more, visit www.disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, email email@example.com, or call 800-659-2955.
Town of New Castle Closures: Recycling Center
The Recycling Center is closed until further notice including the Residential Yard Waste Area and Recycling Center Yard. At this time NO items will be accepted. Additionally, the New Castle Food Composting Program is temporarily suspended, and mulch/compost orders are not being accepted.
Please hold on to any items that are not collected curbside like EWaste, print cartridges, refrigerators, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, tires and large metal items until further notice. Email any Recycling Center questions to Recycle@mynewcastle.org and someone will return your email.
Curbside refuse and recycling collection are still taking place. Please contact SaniPro at 1800-273-9394 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or issues regarding refuse and recycling collection.
Curbside Yard Waste Collection will start Monday, March 23 as scheduled. Please check the Town of New Castle 2020 Refuse and Recycling Schedule to determine when your ZONE will be collected at: https://www.mynewcastle.org/180/Recycling-Refuse-Unit.
Please note that both Chappaqua Paint and Hardware and Millwood Hardware sell yard waste bags and recycling totes – call ahead to confirm.
Scam Alert: Stay Vigilant & Safe
It has come to our attention that during this difficult time scams are being perpetrated by persons claiming to be from the Center of Disease Control (CDC). When doing so, these people state they are testing for the COVID-19 virus. None of these scams have been reported in New Castle, but please be advised no person from the CDC nor any other agency will show up at your home for COVID-19 testing.
In the event someone comes to your home claiming to be from the CDC or if you are unsure of anyone’s identity who calls purporting to be the same, contact the New Castle Police Department at 914-238-4422. Remain alert and never provide your personal identifying or financial information to anyone without confirming the validity of the request.
NYS Guidance & Reminder: Best Practices & The Great Outdoors
Getting outdoors to walk, jog, hike, garden, ride a bicycle or visit a park are healthy ways to stay active, spend time with your family, and reduce stress and anxiety while engaging in social distancing strategies. These are some simple ways you can protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 while enjoying the outdoors:
- Avoid close contact with people, even when outside. Keep a distance of at least six feet to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Avoid games and activities that require close contact.
- Avoid frequently touched surfaces and objects. All New Castle Playgrounds are closed for this reason.
- Don’t share equipment such as bicycles, helmets, balls or frisbees.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and discard the tissue in a closed container.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol:
Remember, if you are sick or had contact with someone who is sick in the last 14 days you should stay home and solely enjoy the personal outdoor space at your home. Do not utilize shared public space.
Shop Local – Support Local Businesses
Please consider supporting our merchants and business owners during this difficult time. Thank you to the Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce for their partnership. The following is a link to a consolidated list of all Food/Beverage Shops & Boutiques that will deliver, provide curbside pick-up or both!
New Castle Citizen Assistance Registry
The Town has created a new application called the NEW CASTLE CITIZEN ASSISTANCE REGISTRY. Earlier this week the New Castle Police Department called all 27 residents on our Senior Watch list to check in and make sure that they were OK. We are looking to expand our list of potentially vulnerable residents, both to increase our outreach and get a sense of the level of need in the community so that we are prepared to respond. Sign up online at https://mynewcastle.org/registry. You can also contact Bess Steiger, Senior Social Worker at 238-2093. All of the personal information in the registry is confidential and will not be shared with the general public.
Your New Castle Family: All of Us Together
Through the anxiety and uncertainty of today, we will not just persevere but come together a stronger family tomorrow. Supervisor Ivy Pool, Deputy Supervisor Jeremy Saland, Council members Lisa Katz, Jason Lichtenthal and Lauren Levin, Town Administrator Jill Shapiro, and our Town staff and first-responders, promise this because we share one priority – all of you.