By Kathy Kahn
It’s hard to explain to those who travel enmasse that “social” distancing and no gatherings larger than ten people is required to stay healthy and, in some cases, stay alive. Apparently, County Executive Ed Day’s pleas –and the State’s direct order–that everyone “stay at home,” throwing millions of New Yorkers out of work, has fallen on deaf ears in Ramapo and in turn, been ignored by the Governor.
Ed Day’s April 2 press conference aired on social media and contained a direct message to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo: “The ability to protect health and safety has been taken away from us…we need a containment zone to save lives.”
The County Executive, who cited Rockland Health Dept. numbers for Ramapo that don’t jibe with the low numbers New York State is reporting for the county, said law enforcement and safety officers’ hands are tied because of Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.5. “While I can understand it—up to a point…an area of more than one percent is considered by the U.S. Coronavirus Task Force to be more than a dangerous tipping point,” said Day.
The areas Day outlined on the map has a record number of cases and where social distancing and mass gatherings directives have been ignored and its tipping point is nearing two percent.
Day pointed to the measles outbreak that threatened Rockland last year and was centered in Ramapo. “We were not micromanaged by New York State during that outbreak,” said Day, pointing out that Rockland successfully handled the outbreak without being mandated to by Cuomo and quickly brought that pandemic to an end to the satisfaction of all concerned.
Day made an impassioned plea to Governor Cuomo to do the same in Rockland as he did in New Rochelle, creating a containment area to stop the spread of disease. Day also pleaded for Cuomo to pay attention to the escalating rate of the virus and to open an emergency field hospital on RCC Campus, which has previously been offered up to Cuomo.