We are all eagerly anticipating the process of reopening, but we must proceed according to the guidelines set forth by the State – to paraphrase the Governor, we must be New York Tough and New York Smart! New York State requires that each region meet seven metrics before we can begin our reopening process. Westchester is a part of the Mid-Hudson Region, which currently meets five of the seven metrics. You can monitor progress across these metrics, please see: https://forward.ny.gov/regional-monitoring-dashboard
Westchester County has developed a quick reference guide regarding New York State’s 7 reopening metrics and the 4 reopening phases.
When allowed, businesses will begin to re-open in 4 phases. The first phase includes: Construction; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting; Retail - (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off); Manufacturing; and Wholesale Trade. For those industries included in Phase 1, The State has released guidance for what will be required in order to re-open: https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase#overview--reopening-in-phases
Governor Cuomo Encourages All Eligible New Yorkers to Get Tested for COVID19
New York State has created a searchable database of COVID-diagnostic testing sites. This database continues to be updated on an ongoing basis: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you
New York State’s criteria for receiving a diagnostic test has changed. Below is an amended list of all persons who qualify for a COVID-19 diagnostic test:
- Any individual who has COVID-19 symptoms;
- Any individual who has had contact with a person known to be positive with COVID-19;
- Any individual who is subject to a precautionary or mandatory quarantine;
- Any individual who is employed as a health care worker, nursing home worker or first responder;
- Any essential worker who directly interacts with the public while working; and
- Any individual who would return to the workplace in phase one of the state's reopening plan.
Please remember you must schedule an appointment to get a COVID-19 diagnostic test by calling 1-888-364-3065 or your healthcare provider.
As reported last week, antibody testing is available for first responders and essential workers at Northern Westchester Hospital and the Center for Healthy Living at Chappaqua Crossing. If you are a first responder or essential worker please make an appointment to be tested: https://veoci.com/veoci/p/form/39a5t7md5dnw.
Beaches, yes. Pools, no.
Many of us were excited to hear that New York State beaches will be open Memorial Day weekend, with restrictions in place effective Friday, May 22. The restrictions include reducing the number of people allowed and ensuring there are enough staff present to enforce social distancing.
Westchester County has determined that it will open its beaches on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday in recognition of Memorial Day. The County will use this “soft launch” to determine whether they will remain open beyond this point.
In the Town of New Castle, we do not have any municipal beaches or lakeshores. Swimming pools are still closed until further notice.
Above-Ground Pools: What Residents Need to Know
Above-ground pools are subject to strict State, County, and local health and safety regulations. If you are thinking about installing an above-ground pool, you must obtain a permit. Pools deeper than 24” require a building permit, and pools between 24” and 48” require a code compliant barrier for safety.
Elective Surgeries Resume in Westchester
Over the weekend, Governor Cuomo announced that elective surgeries and ambulatory care are allowed to resume within Westchester County.
Yesterday morning Deputy Supervisor Jeremy Saland and I took a socially-distanced walk through downtown Chappaqua wearing our masks. We were pleased to see that most people were wearing masks as they walked through the hamlet. However, we continue to receive complaints from vulnerable residents who feel uncomfortable or threatened by people who are not wearing masks. If you cannot maintain social distance, you must wear a mask. Practically speaking, this means bring your mask with you everywhere you go, at all times, and be prepared to pop the mask on when needed. Or better yet, just wear your mask. Compliance is critical to re-opening – do your part!
Due to the current health crisis, the Town of New Castle will be unable to hold our traditional Memorial Day parade. However, working with the Memorial Day Committee and the New Castle Community Media Center, we are planning a virtual Memorial Day celebration that will honor the soldiers from New Castle who lost their lives in service to their country and celebrate our community and its enduring spirit. Further details will be announced in the Friday Community eNewsletter.
Updated Guidance from NYS Regarding Landscaping
Landscaping is now open statewide, and permissible activities have been expanded to include the care and planting of grasses, sod, plants, shrubs, and trees and the mulching, trimming, and removal of these items for disease, safety, and public health purposes. The transportation of equipment and materials necessary is also permissible. Gardening is open statewide; permissible activities include the cultivation of flowers, vegetables, herbs, fruit, trees, shrubs, etc., at home and community settings and locations. Horticulture and landscaping businesses must follow the Non-Food Related Agriculture Summary Guidelines and Read and Affirm Detailed Guidelines for Non-food Agriculture.
For more information: https://agriculture.ny.gov/coronavirus
Confidential Paper Shredding on Saturday, June 6th from 10AM-1PM
The amazing team at the Town of New Castle Recycling Center has created a plan to be able to offer a safe, socially distant confidential paper shredding event at the Recycling Center on June 6th from 10AM-1PM. There will be some new and different procedures to make the shredding event safer for everyone.
- Residents line up on Joan Corwin Way
- Recycling staff will direct residents
- Residents must wear mask/face covering
- Trucks will be set up with two tables lined up in front of each truck
- Residents pull up and load documents on the tables when it is their turn
- Residents are required to place their own items on the table
- Only Recycling and USA Shred staff are permitted behind table
- Recycling Staff load residents documents in the bin
- The USA Shred employee dumps and shreds documents
- Residents are welcome to watch it shredded
- Residents are required to remain in their vehicles until it is their turn
This event is open to residents ONLY. Please expect long wait times!
Automatic Extension of Senior Citizen Partial Exemption for Garbage and Refuse Collection Charges
Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the Town Board passed a resolution last night to automatically extend the senior citizen partial exemptions for the payment of unit charges for garbage and refuse collection charges for 2020 based upon 2019 eligibility.
Coming Soon! Drive-in Movies
Drive-in movie theaters in New York have been given the green light under the Governor’s phased plan to restart the economy. Last night the New Castle Town Board authorized the Town to contract with a vendor to rent equipment to host up to three drive-in movies in the South Lot of the Chappaqua Train Station. Dates, showtimes, and movie titles to be announced soon!
Note: these drive-in movies will take the place of our traditional summer concerts, the first two of which have already been cancelled due to COVID-19.