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Please enjoy the outdoors and beautiful weekend. But, remember- the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. There are still 6,756 active cases in Westchester. 1,049 Westchester residents have died. Last weekend parks, bicycle paths were overcrowded. Be safe!
This weekend is going to be beautiful --many people are going to enjoy the outdoors, will visit town and county parks. The question: Will social distancing be practiced???? Last weekend the answer was NO. The bike paths on the Bronx River Parkway, county and town parks were crowded with people not following the recommendations of Medical Professionals to stay away from others. Please be careful. And sensitive to others. A careless person who is infected could cause someone else to get very sick or to die.
The Greenburgh Medical Advisory Committee and I are very nervous because we feel that there is a false sense among many people that the pandemic is over. It’s not. People are still dying every day. And many people who survive have reported that getting COVID-19 is a horrible, very scary experience. As of yesterday 29, 323 people in Westchester tested positive. 1,049 Westchester residents (YOUNG AND OLD) have died. Although at the peak there were 11,000 cases in Westchester there are still 6,756 active Westchester cases. In Greenburgh 863 positives; Dobbs Ferry: 212; Elmsford: 148; Hastings: 85; Ardsley: 67; Irvington: 67; Tarrytown: 223. Many of us know neighbors, friends that are no longer with us because of COVID-19.
The Greenburgh Town Board will vote on Monday to authorize the Parks department to put up signs in our town owned parks and trails REMINDING cyclists, walkers and joggers to stay away from other people. This is a recommendation the Medical Advisory Committee made a few days ago. Other countries around the world that have opened up too quickly report an increase in new cases. And, we all fear a second wave later this year. I have asked the Greenburgh Police to have the police monitor our town parks and to emphasize to those who enjoy our beautiful trails and open space the importance of being in compliance with recommended medical social distance safety and health measures. If you observe incidents in any parks where safety practices are not being followed please advise.
This past week some people complained when the Medical Advisory Committee and I recommended to the county that Bicycle Sunday’s be postponed. The county rejected the recommendation and Bicycle Sunday’s will be held tomorrow (Sunday) from 10 AM to 11 AM. Currently, Bicycle Sunday’s are held in May, June and September. We had urged the county to keep the same number of Bicycle Sunday’s but to delay the start and to add extra weekends in October when it would be safer. I love bicycling (came up with the Bicycle Sunday idea in 1973) and will be bicycling on side roads this weekend --not on crowded bike paths or on the parkway. It’s important to get outside but it is also important that you don’t get infected by others. One careless or insensitive person can get many others very sick.
The following two studies were cited by the Medical Advisory Committee in their report issued a few days ago.
A study published in March 2020 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that, under some conditions, virus-laden droplets can travel up to 26 feet. https://clicktime.symantec.com/3CWmK5JhZVQuzgmu9K3d3NM7Vc?u=https%3A%2F%2Fjamanetwork.com%2Fjournals%2Fjama%2Ffullarticle%2F2763852 “There is no virtual wall at the 3 to 6 feet distance,” said the study’s author Professor Bourouiba of MIT.
There is an April 2020 Belgium-Dutch study that suggests that 6 feet of separation falls far short of what is safe when people are walking for exercise, running or cycling because of what is called the “slipstream” effect, the stream of air driven back by a person walking, running or biking. https://clicktime.symantec.com/3733HyUpRFLniJcwJFRuNAE7Vc?u=https%3A%2F%2Fmedium.com%2F%40jurgenthoelen%2Fbelgian-dutch-study-why-in-times-of-covid-19-you-can-not-walk-run-bike-close-to-each-other-a5df19c77d08
Be extra careful this weekend. Enjoy the outdoors. But - try keeping away from others. We want you to be safe and healthy--and alive.