April 5, 2020
COVID-19 Local Update:
There are currently 56 cases reported in Somers; 14,400 positive COVID cases in Westchester County; and, 122,000 across NYS. The cases in Somers are relatively spread out, with Heritage Hills having 15 positive cases. HH also represents the largest populated neighborhood in Somers, so that information is not surprising. The town has been working closely with the Heritage Hills community and security staff, and will continue to do so throughout this crises. The hospitalization rate of COVID cases in Westchester is hovering around 7%-8%, which is well below the 20% range being seen in NYC and Long Island. NYS is reporting that thus far 74% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 have been discharged. In fact, the discharged rate for COVID-19 patients continues to increase. This is a great sign. The data also indicates that the contagion is shifting towards Long Island as cases there dramatically increase. State officials are tracking statistics to determine when we will be reaching the apex of the contagion in our area, and as the Governor reports, this is extremely hard to determine. Most models are point to mid-to-late April, although recent NYS data indicates we could be there now. Regardless, our best defense against the spread of COVID at this point is social distancing. Please make sure you’re implementing this in every aspect of your life, and urging family and friends to do the same. The sooner we all adhere, the sooner we will get through this.
CDC Recommends Use of Face Clothes:
The CDC has recently issued a recommendation that everyone wear face coverings when out in public. CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
Update from First Responders:
Calls to 911 have increased over the past weeks. Please be sure to inform the 911 dispatcher if you have COVID-19 symptoms so our first responders can prepare accordingly. The Somers FD, EMS, and PD are doing an extraordinary job serving our community in these very difficult times. We all thank them for their service.
The Somers Community Has Been Stepping Up:
I’ve been in awe of how our community has come together to help those in need. Many community groups have donated time and resources to help make needed medical equipment, delivery groceries and donate food. Local restaurants have donated meals to our first responders and local pharmacies. The Somers Lions Club is now shifting their focus to help delivery food and groceries to those who cannot venture to stores. More information on this will be released in the coming days.
If you are a local community group or restaurant offering similar services, please contact me directly at email@example.com so I can help get the information out to the public.
Active parks, playgrounds and playing fields have been closed. The Town’s passive parks remain open, which includes the Angle Fly Preserve and Koegel Park. Be sure to maintain 6 feet of personal space at all times.
Our Senior Services continue to operate and serve our residents who are at the most risk. Barbara Taberer and her staff have been doing a fantastic job delivering meals and connecting people to necessary resources. We all appreciate their hard work.
While Town buildings are closed to the public, all departments remain operational. Please visit this link for updates and contact information: https://www.somersny.com/reso…/town-offices-closed-to-public
New York State is asking for healthcare providers (nurses, doctors, physician assistants, etc.) to join a “surge force” that will be needed as cases continue to rise. So far, over 50,000 New Yorkers have answered the call. Please see this link for further details: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/get-involved-how-you-can-…
Supporting Local Businesses:
Please check-out the Somers Chamber of Commerce website for more information about takeout and delivery options for local businesses.
Thank You to Our Local Healthcare Workers:
Somers is lucky and proud to be home to a large number of healthcare workers. On behalf of the resident of Somers, I want to thank them for their service during these difficult times. We are grateful for all that you’re doing.
Stay safe & be well Somers
Somers Town Supervisor
April 1, 2020
COVID-19 Local Update:
There are currently 40 cases reported in Somers; over 10,683 in Westchester County;and, 83,712 across NYS. There are 268 Westchester residents hospitalized with COVID-19. We expect the surge of cases to hit our area in Mid-to- late April, and as such, hospitals have been increasing their capacity with other facilities also being brought online to treat patients. To this point,hospitalizations rates in our area are relatively low, however our actions will directly impact that number. Remember, social distancing remains vitally important as we move forward.
New York on PAUSE Extended:
The Governor’s New York on PAUSE Executive Order has been extended through April 15. This mandates that all non-essential workers in NY work from home. The Executive Order now more broadly restricts the type of construction that is permitted.Grocery stores, restaurants offering takeout, and pharmacies are still considered to be essential services. Here’s an updated link for more information on the Executive Order: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
Data continues to show that social distancing is having a positive impact on slowing the hospitalization rate in New York. We all need to do our part in implementing social distancing: Stay home; when outside keep 6 feet of personal space; and,practice good hygiene. Be especially mindful about washing your hands and avoid touching your face.
Active parks,playgrounds and playing fields have been closed. The Town’s passive parks remain open, which includes the Angle Fly Preserve and Koegel Park. Be sure to maintain 6 feet of personal space at all times.
While Town buildings are closed to the public, all departments remain operational. Please visit this link for updates and contact information: https://www.somersny.com/resources/town-offices-closed-to-public
Update from Town Police:
Calls to 911 have increased over the past week or so. Those who are in need of emergent care should contact 911, however please be mindful as to whether your situation deems a call to 911,
Be sure to lock your cars at night. There have been reports of valuables being stolen from car s left unlocked. Keep home exterior lights on to deter any criminal activity.
For victims of domestic violence, please know that there are free resources for legal guidance available to you.
-Hope’s Door: 1-888-438-8700
-Pace Women’s Justice Center: 914-287-0739 or 914-422-4188(leave a message and your call will be returned.
Our First Responders:
Our local first responders continue to work tirelessly on behalf of our community. REMINDER: If you are seeking assistance from emergency services and have been infected,ordered to quarantine, or have any indication that you may have or been exposed to COVID-19, please be sure to inform the dispatcher when you call 911.
We are grateful for our Town Police, Fire Department, EMS, and Highway Department for their hard work during these difficult times.
COVID-19 Testing Informational Resources:
Please see the link below for more information on COVID-19 testing.
New York State is asking for healthcare providers (nurses, doctors, physician assistants,etc.) to join a “surge force” that will be needed as cases continue to rise. So far, over 50,000 New Yorkers have answered the call. Please see this link for further details: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/get-involved-how-you-can-help
Supporting Local Businesses:
Please check-out the Somers Chamber of Commerce website for more information about takeout and delivery options for local businesses.
Somers Food Pantry:
The Somers Food Pantry at St.Luke's Church is continuing to take donations of nonperishable items.
There are now two large donation boxes outside the church office door, along the driveway. Volunteers will empty the boxes every day, but if the weather is inclement, put yourdonation in plastic to keep it dry.
St Luke’s is located at 331 Route100, Somers, NY.
Stay safe & Be well Somers
Somers Town Supervisor
March 31. 2020
March 30, 2020
March 27, 2020
Friday, March 27, 1 p.m.
Update to be given via the Switch
Switch number(212) 227-9191
Circuit is WCPR1
Bars and tone will be live at 12:45pm
Video sent out at 1080i
Update will also be live on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/westchestergov/
March 26, 2020
March 25, 2020 -
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, healthcare experts are estimating that infections will peak in the NY Metro area within the next month or two. The testing capacity in Westchester has increased, and so have positive test results. This is as to be expected. Currently, there are 30,811 cases COVID-19 cases in New York State with Westchester having 4,691 cases. There are 10 officially confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Somers. Keep in mind that in early March, there were only 2 confirmed cases in NYC and 1 confirmed in Westchester, in all of New York.
These statistics speak to the importance of social distancing and staying home. We all need to do our part to slow the spread of the disease in order to maintain capacity for our healthcare providers. The Governor has reported that projections show social distancing is working. While the vast majority of those infected with COVID-19 will self-resolve, it’s expected that up to 20% may need hospitalization. A sudden and prolonged spike in infections, along with the 20% hospitalization rate, could overwhelm our healthcare system. So, please heed the advice of healthcare experts: practice good hygiene; stay home; and,when you need to go out for essentials, practice social distancing.
New York State has been working with local governments to expand hospital beds in our area. The Westchester County Center has been identified as a location for additional beds, and there is discussion about some larger parking lots being utilized as field hospitals. Hospitals in our area have been ordered to increase their bed capacity as well.
Also remember that the entire State remains under an Executive Order known as NewYork on PAUSE whereas 100% of the workforce must stay home, excluding essential service. More information can be found here: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
New York State is asking for healthcare providers (nurses, doctors, physician assistants, etc.) to join a “surge force” that will be needed as cases continue to rise. So far, 40,000 New Yorkers have answered the call. Please see this link for further details: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/get-involved-how-you-can-help
Our local first responders continue to work tirelessly on behalf of our community. If you are seeking assistance from emergency services and have been infected, ordered to quarantine, or have any indication that you may have or been exposed to COVID-19, please be sure to inform the dispatcher when you call 911.
The supply chain for grocery stores remains strong. There is no need to hoard goods and supplies. Please be kind and mindful of others when shopping. For those of you who may be in the “at-risk” category, there are a variety of volunteers and organizations such as St. Luke's Church that offer groceries and grocery stores that offer home deliveries.
While town facilities are closed to the public, local government operations are ongoing. A big thank you to the Highway Department and Police Department for their continued hard work. If you need to be in touch with any town department,please visit our website for contact information. https://www.somersny.com/
COVID-19 Testing Informational Resources:
Please seethe link below for more information on COVID-19 testing.
These are undoubtedly some difficult times for our nation, region, and community.However, we must support one-another. Be compassionate, be kind, and know that we’re all struggling with our own challenges. This too shall pass, and we all will be better for it. In the meantime, enjoy the time with your family and loved ones.
Be Well Somers
Somers Town Supervisor
March 24, 2020-
March 20, 2020-
Directs 100% of businesses closing (except essential services) and directs all residents to stay home.
Essential businesses that can stay open include:
Grocers and restaurants, health care providers, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, banks, hardware stores, laundromats and cleaners, child-care providers,auto repair shops, utility companies, warehouses and distributors, delivery services, plumbers and other skilled contractors, animal-care providers,transportation providers, construction companies and many kinds of manufacturers.
March 18, 2020-
Hello Somers! I ask that during these difficult times you practice social responsibility by staying at home if at all possible. Please lead by example and reassure your children that, by staying at home or in the yard, they will prevent the spread of this virus. Explain to your older children who are home from school and college that by meeting up with friends and socializing, it puts you and your family at risk when they return home. These are unfortunate and unprecedented actions we must take to stay healthy.
Please check our website for a list of restaurants offering take-out services. When out in the community picking up food orders be sure to practice social distancing (6 feet or more). Finally, let’s be mindful of the less fortunate in our community and alert my office to any needs you may be aware of.
Let’s Flatten the Curve of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Be well Somers!
Supervisor Rick Morrissey
March 16, 2020-
The Town of Somers has been busy preparing for an extended period of social distancing in our community. Doing so will help stem the drastic spread of the virus, and protect those most at risk. To that end, I have declared a State of Emergency in the Town of Somers with the hopes of doing our part to 'Flatten the Curve' of the Coronavirus Outbreak. I am urging residents, whenever possible, to stay home, limit social interactions,avoid large gatherings and maintain a distance of 6ft or more of personal space. Public health officials recommend these practices,which can serve to avoid a spike in infections and save our healthcare providers from being overwhelmed over the coming weeks and months. For those of you who can implement these actions, please do so immediately.
Please also note that town buildings, Reis Park,Van Tassell and Dog Parks will be closed to public access until further notice. This is being done to limit exposure to residents and Town staff. All Town departments remain operational and staff is available by phone or email. Each department has instituted emergency plans to address residents needs for conducting business with the Town.
By Executive Order, Governor Cuomo suspended the open meetings law to enable Board and Committee meetings to be conducted in person or via a platform such as Skype, without public presence. The caveats are: Skype (or the like) meetings must be open to the public to sign on and/or the meeting must be recorded. In the case of the Town of Somers, we live broadcast most of our meetings and will be allowing the public to comment via phone conferencing.
Let’s look to take care of those most at risk in our community, and join together in these difficult times. There will be some rough days ahead, but we must do our part and support one another. Please know that our Town Police have a list of at-risk individuals in our community and they will be conducting wellness checks.
For questions regarding if you should be tested and to receive a testing number call the New York State Coronavirus Testing Hot Line 888-364-3065.
My message to residents....“Flatten the Curve” stay home whenever possible, care for your families and neighbors during these unprecedented times. We will get through this. Be well Somers.
March 13, 2020-
The Town government,as I’m sure all of you are aware continues to monitor the developments with COVID-19. While this is a very fluid situation, local municipal officials are being updated by our partners at Westchester County.
Here’s what we know at this point:
- The Governor has announced a ban on events with 500 or more people, and the NYS Health Department is urging “social distancing” whenever possible. Be smart about attending large indoor events, especially if you’re over the age of 60.
- Bars & Restaurants and other facilities with listed occupancy of less than 500 will have their capacity temporarily reduced by 50%, including the Town House.
- NYS is working to expand testing capacity with private labs; and, a drive through testing facility in New Rochelle will be initiated for residents living in that area. This will surely lead to an increase in the number of positive cases, but don’t panic, that is to be expected. We need to identify those who are infected in order to stop the spread of the disease.
- Call your medical provider if you are not well and don’t go to the hospital unless directed by your medical provider or it is absolutely necessary. We do not want to infect doctors and medical staff at the ER with the COVID-19 virus.As repeatedly stated, 80% of those impacted by the virus will self-resolve without the need for medical care. Please avoid taking up valuable capacity and resources at the hospital if it’s not absolutely necessary.
- As of today, County officials have reported that there is one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Somers. Due to privacy laws and HIPAA, there are restrictions as to what information can be released to municipal officials.
- The Somers Fire Dept. and EMS are asking that anyone who calls for assistance and is quarantining, make them aware of your medical situation. This will allow them to take all the necessary precautions.
• Somers Highway Department: (914) 232-4848
The facility is closed to the public until further notice. We are also asking that residents limit their access to other town facilities in an effort to limit exposure to the public and staff. Feel free to call Town offices for guidance on whatever your needs are.
• Assessor’s Office: (914) 277-3504
All new exemption and exemption renewal applications are due by May 1. All Enhanced STAR renewals are now handled by NY State Taxation & Finance --call them at (518) 457-2036. For all new exemptions and any required renewals,especially the Senior Citizen Exemption renewal, the Assessor’s Office would prefer you e-mail the completed exemption forms and required documents to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail to: Assessor; Town of Somers, 335 Route 202; Somers, NY 10589. Upon receipt, youwill receive an e-mail reply or a stamped receipt in the mail. For questions please call and leave a message. We will return your call as soon as possible.
• Justice Court: (914) 277-8225
If you have an appearance and are ill that you call the Court for an adjournment. Payments should be made by regular mail when practical to Justice Court, 335 Route 202; Somers, NY 10589
• Planning & Engineering: (914) 277-5366
Please access all environmental forms, requests for wetland and steep slope permits, pool permits, tree removal permits, subdivision and site plan applications, lot line changes on line and call the office if you have any questions or problems accessing files. Submit all completed applications and checks (made payable to Town of Somers) by regular mail because money cannot be received electronically, Planning & Engineering, Town of Somers, 335 Route 202; Somers, NY 10589. Call with any questions rather than coming into the office.
• Somers Library: (914) 232-5717
Please do not visit the Library if you are sick and if necessary, contact us by phone. Library programs will be cancelled until further notice. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, if you are overdue on Library materials, we will workwith you to forgive any overdue fines.
• Receiver of Taxes: (914) 277-3610
2020 Town/County Tax bills will be mailed out by April 1st and are due April 30th. Due to the Covid-19/ Coronavirus pandemic we ask taxpayers to mail their payments in when possible and to make sure they are postmarked on or before April 30th. If paying in person, please ensure that you are symptom free orask someone who is to deliver your payment. If we can be of any assistance please contact Tax Receiver, Michele McKearney directly.
• Senior Nutrition Program: (914) 232-0807
Meals on Wheels will remain open during the coronavirus emergency. As of Monday, March 16, all programs including balance and strength exercise, Yoga,Line dance, Ballroom, Bridge, Mahjong, Canasta, Art, shopping and congregate lunch will be until further notice. We will reach out seniors during this period to provide updates. We will honor medical appointments scheduled prio rto today.
• Parks and Recreation: (914) 232-8441
The Wednesday Somers Senior Citizen Club meetings at the Amawalk Firehouse are cancelled until further notice.
• Building Department: (914) 277-3539
In an effort to minimize close contact with multiple guests at once, please call our office to schedule an appointment before coming in.
• Zoning Department: (914) 277-5582
Please contact our office by phone or email at email@example.com to keep all of us healthy and safe.
- PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE!!! We know the drill by now...wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home if you’re sick and clean frequently touched surfaces. For questions regarding the COVID-19, call 2-1-1.
Somers is a strong community, and we’re all in this together. Unity is extremely important during these times, and at the end of the day we’re all family here in Somers. Let’s be mindful of the people most at risk, and check-in to see where we can lend a helping hand.
Be well Somers.
March 11, 2020 -
Based on new protocols, the Town of Somers has been officially notified by health officials of our first case of COVID-19 virus. This was publicly announced last week as the individual self-reported. Due to HIPAA and other privacy laws, no further details are being provided to local governments at this time. An investigation is being conducted by the NYS Dept. of Health, and public health officials will be following up with anyone who may have been in contact with this individual. Certainly, if the Town becomes aware of any new information impacting the Somers community at large, it will be put out for public consumption by my office.
Acting in the best interest of the community, and exercising an abundance of caution,tonight's Planning Board meeting has been canceled, additionally, we are canceling the Public Hearings on the New School Proposed Local Law to amend Chapter 170, entitled Zoning, Article VII, entitled Office Business OB-100 Districts and the revisions to Town of Somers Comprehensive Plan Update adopted February 11, 2016, scheduled for tomorrow night. We expect it would generate a large number of attendees in what is a relatively confined space. The Town Board will meet as scheduled to conduct routine business as Town Board meetings do not draw large crowds.
The Town will be working to implement measures moving forward so that residents will have alternative ways to submit comment without having to attend meetings in person. Please watch the government access channel Thursday night as we will be updating the public on the latest Coronavirus information received from the County and State.
Somers Town Supervisor
March 10, 2020 -
The Paramount Nursing Home is practicing an abundance of caution and is not accepting any visitors during this time in order to protect the health and well being of its residents.
March 7, 2020 -
A resident of Somers has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Family members have tested negative. This individual proactively self reported to the School District. As has been announced, all Somers schools will be closed on Monday out of an abundance of caution for cleaning. The person has a child in the district, but did not visit the campus within the past few weeks.
It’s important to keep the situation in context, and not to panic. Health officials have communicated that 80% of people infected will have mild to no symptoms. The people at most risk are the elderly and those with serious underlying health issues. We can best protect ourselves and our families by following advice of public health professions, which is to essentially take the same steps to avoid the flu or the common cold.
-Practice good hygiene. It’s obvious, but effective. Washing your hands; don’t touch you face; and, cough into you sleeve or tissue.
-Wipe down and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
-Stay home if you’re feeling sick, and avoid people who are sick.
The Town will pass along additional information from the Westchester County Health Department moving forward. They, along with the NYS Health Department, are the lead agencies advising schools and local governments on response actions and protocols. The Town has been working with local health officials and meeting with community groups in preparation for the future.
Please take time to educate yourself about the virus. See links below. The Somers community is strong and resilient. As health officials urge, go about your normal routines, but use common sense about good hygiene.
New York State Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
**For Answers to Coronavirus Questions, call 211**
I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS),from different animal sources.
The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.
Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take.
These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.:
1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump,slight bow, elbow bump, etc.
2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.
3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip - do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.
4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.
5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.
6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home's entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can't immediately wash your hands.
7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!
What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:
1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.
Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you!BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average - everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects you rlungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.
2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you - it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth - it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.
3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.
4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges.These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY"cold-like" symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.
I,as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved.BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.
I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share this email. Good luck to all of us!
~ Jim James Robb, MD