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Recognizing the vital service the Bee-Line bus system provides to Westchester County, and the imperative need to protect the drivers of these buses, County Executive George Latimer is directing that starting Monday, March 23 all passengers must now enter and exit buses from the rear-door. The new policy is the latest action taken by Latimer to protect frontline employees from COVID-19, and stop the spread.
Additionally, the first three rows of seats on all fixed route transit buses will be roped off in an effort to further distance the passengers from drivers. Special accommodations will be made for handicapped passengers.
• As of Friday, 3/20, the municipalities with the highest number of confirmed positives in Westchester are:
o 1. New Rochelle 223
o 2. Yonkers 145
o 3. Mount Vernon 70
o 4. White Plains 54
o 5. Greenburgh 43
o 6. Scarsdale 35
o 7. Eastchester 31
o 8. Port Chester 28
o 9. Cortlandt 25
o 10. Harrison 26
• The Westchester County Center is being prepared as a temporary hospital to house patients. This move will provide relief to overcrowded hospitals should the need arise.
• Westchester County Economic Development team is researching loans and grant programs for small business devastated by the shutdown of their businesses, communicating information through local Chambers of Commerce. For more information visit https://westchestercatalyst.com/coronavirus-updates/
o What is essential service? Governor laid out which businesses are considered “essential” but it also describes the process for requesting an exemption from the workforce reduction executive order. https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026
• Here is Westchester we set up a 2-1-1 hotline with the United Way to provide answers for Westchester residents with questions concerning Coronavirus.
o NYS hotline for testing requests: 888.364.3065
o Westchester County hotline: 866.588.0195
• County has set up an email address to respond to inquiries. This is another option to the hotline.
o Responses can be sent in English or Spanish.
o Emails will receive an auto-reply stating their message has been received and they should expect a response within 24 hours. Then it has info about our hotline and then links to County, State, & CDC websites. The emails are answered by County DSS.
• Westchester County Parks remain open for individual use and exercise, including County golf courses. Social distancing must be practiced. No active team sports allowed. https://parks.westchestergov.com/
• Westchester County has implemented child care services at local elementary schools with school districts to assist during closure of all school districts. Please reach out to local districts for more information as this is evolving.
• Westchester County has developed its food distribution plan in consultation with our school districts, the Westchester Child Care Council and our community based organizations for children who already receive lunch at school. Please reach out to local districts for more information as this is evolving.
• Westchester County Department of Social Services working directly with low-income residents as individuals lose jobs and require benefits for their families. Also working with County homeless population. Contact information https://socialservices.westchestergov.com/contact-us
o As a precaution, in-person contact has been eliminated whenever possible, with DSS transitioning to offer assistance by way of telework options and phone to reduce the potential exposure of Westchester County’s residents.
o Those in need of benefits should apply online through www.MyBenefits.com, additionally applications can be either mailed or faxed to DSS.
o DSS District Offices will remain open for emergency walk-in assistance as needed, using appropriate social distancing.
To date, Westchester County DSS has executed the following safety methods:
• Using technology (laptops, mobile phones, remote login and online application processes) to provide assistance to residents.
• Developed in-office emergency assistance options across multiple public assistance programs to help residents by phone, maintaining appropriate social distancing.
• Using specially-developed protocols for child welfare and adult protective services to handle non-safety related contacts by phone. Proper precautions will be taken if an in-person child/adult safety assessment is needed.
• Utilizing waivers when possible to defer nonessential regulatory requirements.
• Reduced Department staffing to minimal levels required to provide essential Social Services functions using rotating schedules.
• Supporting food requests and deliveries by phone or online.
• Supporting staffing of a child care site for healthcare providers and first responders, monitoring child care provider closures.
• Westchester County’s shelters are fully operational, and emergency housing units have been set aside. All housing is maintained following CDC guidelines; clients are screened upon entry and if required moved to hospitalization or isolation.
• For Case Management information, residents can call 914-995-3333 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• A personal plea from County Executive Latimer has been sent out calling for nurses, doctors and other health care professionals to assist with County COVID-19 response. To volunteer please email Lindsey Jackson firstname.lastname@example.org
• Westchester County Consumer Protection Department is working diligently to investigate and post information on COVID19 scams. https://consumer.westchestergov.com/
• Glen Island Park parking lot continues to be used as a mobile testing site.
o Glen Island testing is by appointment only.
• Westchester County Health Department working in lockstep with New York State Health Department.
• Westchester County Emergency Services Dept. distributing to first responders, communities and facilities a range of necessary products from PPE to hand sanitizer.
• Westchester County Police help secure sensitive sites and maintain patrol presence throughout the area.