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parade1The Scarsdale Fire Department and Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps covered over 270 miles celebrating 200 kids in town during the past six weeks as part of their drive-by celebration program. They took their last birthday ride on Saturday May 16, 2020.

Recognizing that the outbreak of the virus caused many to miss their birthday parties, emergency workers stepped up to provide a different kind of celebration. Emergency vehicles formed a parade and drove by homes on Wednesdays and Saturdays to offer good wishes to birthday boys and girls who were surprised and excited to see a parade in their honor!

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Scarsdale photographer and SVAC volunteer Jon Thaler shared his wonderful photos og the parades. See more here

WEstCovidMap5 11There are a total of 345 cases in Scarsdale with 7 active cases.With the number of active cases and hospitalizations dramatically lower than they were a month ago, County Executive George Latimer gave a brief outline of how Westchester County could meet thresholds to begin the process of re-opening in the coming weeks.-

In a press conference on Monday May 11, Latimer provided the following statistics on the state of the outbreak in the county:

-There are 31,384 total cases which is up 90 cases from yesterday.
-The number of active cases has dropped to 3,377, down dramatically from the peak of 11,000 cases from about a month ago
-Hospitalizations are below 500, down from the peak of 1,100
-There have been a total of 1,227 deaths, and nine people died on Sunday night. There is a continuous drop in daily fatalities.
-The county has tested over 112,000 people, which is 11% of the population. 72% of those tested are negative.
-The county has begun antibody testing of first responders and has test 2,000 people to date. -They are up to 450 tests per day. More antibody testing centers will open in Northern Westchester.

Latimer explained how Westchester County could comply with the Governor’s opening plan to re-open in phases. Westchester is a part of the Mid-Hudson Valley region that includes Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Putnam and Sullivan counties that are required to meet certain thresholds to begin the re-opening process. All the counties in the region must meet these requirements to be in compliance.

Here are the requirements to re-open:

-The region must show a 14-day decline in hospitalizations in a rolling 3-day average to avoid any spikes.

-New hospitalizations must be under 2 for every 100,000 residents – or 20 in Westchester County

-30% of all hospital beds must be available for patient occupancy

-The share of ICU beds should be 30%

-Testing thresholds are 30 people per 1,000 residents

-The county needs to hire 30 contact tracers per 1,000 residents and they are working on that now.

The opening plan is as follows:

Phase 1 includes construction, manufacturing, and select retail with curb-side pick-up.

Phase 2 is retail, real estate, and finance.

Phase 3 will allow restaurants and hotels to reopen.

Phase 4 includes entertainment venues and schools.

According to Latimer, the region needs to continue to meet the thresholds to remain open and move to the next phase.

Her reassured residents that “We are going to get there” saying “We need to get back to sanity and normalcy.” He said, “We’re close, but we’re not there yet.”

ChuppahGrand Park Avenue residents were busted for holding a wedding in their yard on Thursday night April 23 in spite of the Governor’s orders mandating social distancing. Undaunted by police the family proceeded with the wedding. When confronted by Scarsdale Police Officers, the father of the bride was adamant that the ceremony would go on and refused to acknowledge that it was illegal to hold a gathering in his yard.

Scarsdale Police were tipped off to the celebration at 7:45 pm on Thursday night April 23. When they arrived, they saw an “unusually large number of vehicles parked on Cornell Street and Grand Park Avenue.” Police entered through an open gate to find the homeowner.

They found an elaborate set up for a wedding, including a four-piece band, musicians, photographers, a large commercial tent with a clear plastic roof and a chuppah all in place. The 8-10 foot chuppah was covered in flowers and underneath was a table with a wine bottle and glasses surrounded by twelve chairs.

Police located the 65 year-old homeowner who was not wearing a mask. He claimed that he was holding a small wedding for his daughter and that only ten people would attend. Police asked everyone on the scene to put on a mask. The homeowner insisted that the wedding would proceed quickly. Police informed him that “all social gathering and all non-essential gathering were not permitted due to the current pandemic under Governor’s Executive Order 202 which prohibits worship services, parties, celebration or other social events of any size for any reason.”

The father of the bride said he thought he could hold a gathering of ten people and claimed they were just taking photos and the photographers were leaving. While police were speaking to the man, several cars pulled into the driveway and the drivers were told to turn around and park on the street. Police also observed two men who later said they were security guards. Inside the house, police saw another 15-20 people all wearing suits and attire for a formal gathering.

Outside the gate, police found more people in their cars dressed in evening attire. Some said they were family members who wished to congratulate the family and said they would exit immediately. The number of people at the event grew and police could hear loud music coming from the house. Police rang the front gate buzzer to speak to the homeowner “to no avail.” They spoke to the rabbi who said, “a gathering of 10 people is fine” and refused to provide any additional information as he exited the premises.

According to the report, after the music stopped, several of the guests, the mother and the father of the bride, the bride and groom, the videographer and the photographer exited the property and handed out gift bags to the people in parked cars and those driving on Grand Park Avenue.

Police gave a summons to the homeowner for willful violation of health laws per the Governor’s Order which is a misdemeanor.

QR5On Monday afternoon Quaker Ridge families came out to celebrate teacher appreciation week! Quaker Ridge School was filled with emotion and love for the community. Students decorated their cars, made signs and drove around the bus circle honking their horns to celebrate their teachers. It was an amazing turnout with over 140 cars in attendance most with multiple students from each family. A good time was had by all.

Photos courtesy of Quaker Ridge PTA President Beth Lazarus.
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hudsonhillsgolfcourseThe news is not all doom and gloom. At a press conference on April 20 Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced that two county golf courses will open for play this weekend. Mohansic in Yorktown Heights and Hudson Hills in Ossining will open for play on Saturday, April 25. Reservations can be made at golf.westchestergov.com.

County Executive George Latimer said: “We have been able to keep our County parks open because we understand that everyone needs to get out and enjoy some fresh air during these times when we are all advised to stay home. We are balancing the desire of those who want to enjoy the outdoors along with the priority of stopping the spread of the virus. These two courses will serve as a test case of our ability to balance both priorities. We believe we will successfully accomplish both goals.”

The courses will be operated under the following guidelines:

-Golfers are asked to check in early for tee times. A minimal number of guests are allowed in the pro shop at one time.

-Tee times have longer intervals between them and reduction of operating hours is being implemented.

-Flagsticks are to be left in the holes untouched and bunkers are not to be raked by golfers.

-Rakes, ball washers and coolers have been removed from the courses.

-Golfers are instructed to not gather in groups or clusters while on or off the golf course.

-Restaurants at both courses are closed for both seated and takeout service.

Latimer announced that Bicycle Sundays on the Bronx River Parkway will begin in May as planned, however riders will be required to wear masks.

Latimer also shared the most recent numbers on the COVID crisis.covidmapApril 20

As of April 20, 2020

Over 70,000 have been tested and over 23,803 have been identified as positive

There are currently 10,080 active cases which is down by 1,000 cases from 10 days ago

As of Sunday 4-19, 1,089 were hospitalized, a 10.8% hospitalization rate

743 people have died from the virus withing the past 7 weeks.

There is a 3% fatality rate among those who contract it

Latimer commented that Westchester County trails New York City, Nassau and Suffolk in the number of cases and said, “The disease is tracking where there are the most people – more people, more cases. Congested villages like Port Chester and Ossining have a higher incidence while the numbers are smaller in places like Pound Ridge, Buchanan, Bronxville and Larchmont. He said, “84% who died are 60 and over and there have been very few deaths of people under the age of 50. It works in concert with age and general health and adversely affects the poor and people of color, but age is the most important factor.

Responding to a question about the Westchester County Center that has been constructed to house the sick, Latimer said, “There are no patients there today and I don’t know the plans of the State Department of Health. It will be done through the state.”

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