Coming up: Virtual Town Hall on COVID-19

I will hold a virtual Town Hall (via Zoom) on Thursday, March 26 at 7:30 PM, the format for which will be an update which I will provide, followed by State Senator Shelley Mayer, Assembly member David Buchwald and County Legislator Kitley Covill. County Executive George Latimer may join us as well.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/8679189653pwd=OGRNaDRCQzNZNU4yVHdIdnk2VC83UT09

Meeting ID: 867 918 9653
Password: TownHall
OR
Navigate directly to zoom.us

Click “JOIN A MEETING” and then enter the required ID and password

PLEASE NOTE:
This meeting will be livestreamed on our website:
bedfordny.gov
Click “Town Meetings and Agendas” then “Town Board Meetings”
look for the livestream button

It has become clear that this crisis will be upon us for months, so I will update the community periodically myself early the week of March 30 by means of a Zoom. Please check back.

REMINDER: Please protect our police, firefighters, EMS and other emergency responders. Their lives literally are on the line.There is a lag time between positive test and when it is disclosed to police and emergency responders. There is a dire shortage of personal protective equipment such as masks and full protective gear. That means they could make a call – possibly to you – not knowing that you tested positive.  If you tested positive, please call your fire department/VAC to advise them.

PARENTS: We have observed ourselves and have reports throughout town of high school and young adults, skateboarding together, playing basketball and just “hanging out” in very close quarters.  Please try to keep your children from gathering in groups. They are endangering themselves and endangering others when they do so.

The Governor urges all to stay home if they are able to and if you do go out, to observe social distancing.
As I mentioned yesterday, I wish to clarify that what is intended is not to be going out mingling with people, however, walking and going outside to get exercise is encouraged. Apologies for creating any confusion.

COVID-19 Updates
Increase in Bedford Residents Tested Positive  As expected, there was an increase in the number of Bedford residents tested positive from 3 to 6. We receive daily from the Westchester County Department of Health (it appears to be occurring between 2 and 2:30 PM), a report only available to Police Chief Padilla and to me of the identity of the residents in Bedford who have tested positive.

Also as I previously mentioned, this figure does not represent those who may have the virus due to a short lag between the test results and reporting to WCDOH (WCDOH is very quick in reporting to us), but more significantly the insufficiency of testing sites and the tests themselves. These capacities are in the process of being substantially increased.

Self-reporting, Self-Quarantine and Notifications If you have been tested positive, please notify your local Fire Department (see above) and notify those with whom you have come into contact within the last two weeks.

If you think that you may have been exposed to someone tested positive, please consider the protocol for self-quarantine (see below for link to information and please also see CDC guidance at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html
What To Do If You Are Sick

As reported yesterday (and this statement was reviewed by WCDOH):
“As to tracking the individuals, the focus on the part of the Westchester County Department of Health is to ensure that those individuals tested positive are quarantined. Such individuals are requested to notify those with whom they have come into contact who then are urged to self-quarantine.

The WCDOH does not have sufficient resources at present to carry out the tracking. We completely understand and empathize with those concerned about contacts with such individuals tested positive. We all have such concerns. It is advised that regardless of whether you believe you may have come into contact with an individual tested positive or an individual who might have come into contact with such individual, you should observe the advice to stay at home if you can, except to carry out essential activities or services, meet your essential needs (such as groceries and medications) or get out of the house for a walk or exercise while observing social distancing.

We also urge you to call 211 number for general questions and 888-364-3065 if you have symptoms and believe you may need to be tested.
There also is reliable and accurate information from the WCDOH at https://health.westchestergov.com/2019-novel-coronavirus

Not for Profits – Federal Disaster Declaration
As you may know, on March 20 President Trump granted New York’s request for federal disaster declaration and for disaster relief. Federal funding is available to “certain nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures”.  link to President Trump’s statement

I am asking the Office of Representative Sean Patrick Maloney for elaboration and clarification, as well as for FEMA guidelines for tracking any such expenditures.

Governor’s Emergency Orders – Mortgage Payments; Bank & Credit Card Fees
The Governor has been issuing an Emergency Order on nearly a daily basis in order to respond to the crisis that evolves on almost an hourly basis. Yesterday’s provides that the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services is to issue emergency regulations to ensure that licensed or regulated lenders are to provide an opportunity to those facing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 for forbearance of mortgage payments. The Superintendent also is to issue emergency regulations restricting or modifying for the duration of the emergency overdraft fees, credit card late fees and various other fees

Governor’s Guidance on What Constitutes an Essential Business 
We’ve received several requests from small businesses in town for guidance on whether they can stay open or not.  The following links to the Governor’s Guidance

Closure of Town Offices – Now All Closed But Police Station
All Town offices, except the Police Department. The Governor’s Emergency Declaration limiting to 50% the number of municipal employees who may physically come into the office has resulted in our only providing for essential employees to come in on a staggered basis.
The Tax Receiver’s office also will be closed. This past week we had kept the Tax Receiver’s Office Open.

Parking Near Town Parks
With Town parks closed including the entrances to them, a number of residents who live a distance from their hamlet park have asked how they can use the parks for walking since we have closed off vehicular entrance to the parks. We would ask that you park on side streets (for side street parking, I am reviewing with staff the parking regulations presently in effect with a view to determine which appropriately should be revised or suspended):

Bedford Hills Memorial Park

  • Parking lot at the Town Offices at 425 Cherry Street (parking limitations are hereby suspended)
  • Commuter lots at Bedford Hills Train Station (parking limitations are hereby suspended)

Parking in these areas allow access to sidewalks and crosswalks that provide direct access to Bedford Hills Memorial Park.

Parking on Haines Road is prohibited and that prohibition shall continue in place, as it creates an unsafe situation with vehicles traveling along the roadway.

Katonah Memorial Park

  • Small dirt parking area off of Wildwood Road
  • Parking along Wildwood Road (reviewing limitations)

Parking in these areas provides access directly to the park grounds and the park’s trails to walk and enjoy.

Bedford Village Memorial Park

  • Public parking spaces in village’s business district (reviewing limitations)

Parking in these areas allow access to sidewalks and crosswalks that provide direct access to Bedford Village Memorial Park.

  • Parking across the street from the park on Pleasant Street and Spruce Pond Lane (reviewing limitations).

COVID-19 Resources and Bedford Services – Updated

We started this yesterday and Councilwoman Ellen Calves will be regularly updating it.

Here’s the link: https://bit.ly/Resources_Bedford_Covid19 to a collection of resources updated since yesterday.

The link will take you to the following topics:

  • If you have symptoms of Covid-19
  • Resources for Bedford Seniors
  • Special Grocery Store Hours for Seniors
  • Grocery Delivery/Pick up
  • Restaurant Delivery/Pick up
  • Local Eateries that Deliver
  • Prescription Delivery
  • Mental Health Resources
  • Food Assistance
  • Other Services
  • Volunteer
  • Links for Small Businesses
  • Veterans

Governor Cuomo’s Forecast of a Long Haul Ahead
We’ll Get Through This Together

Below is an excerpt from Governor Cuomo’s press conference this morning.
“It’s going to be hard. There is no doubt. I’m not minimizing it and I don’t think you should either but at the same time it is going to be okay. We don’t want to overreact either. The grocery stores are going to function, there is going to be food, the transportation systems are going to function, the pharmacies are going to be open, all essential services will be maintained. There’s not going to be chaos, there’s not going to be anarchy, order and function will be maintained.

Life is going to go on. Different – but life is going to go on. So there’s no reason to be going to grocery stores and hoarding food. You see all this overreaction on the TV everyday which makes you think maybe I’m missing it, maybe I should run to the store and buy toilet paper. No. Life is going to go on. The toilet paper is going to be there tomorrow. So a deep breath on all of that.

But I do believe that whatever this is 4 months, 6 months, 9 months – we are going to be the better for it. They talk about the greatest generation, the generation that survived World War II. Dealing with hardship actually makes you stronger. Life on the individual level, on the collective level, on the social level. Life is not about avoiding challenges. Challenges are going to come your way. Life is going to knock you on your rear end at one point. Something will happen. And then life becomes about overcoming those challenges. That’s what life is about. And that’s what this country is about.

America is America because we overcome adversity and challenges. That’s how we were born. That’s what we’ve done all our life. We overcome challenges and this is a period of challenge for this generation. And that’s what has always made America great and that’s what going to make this generation great. I believe that to the bottom of my soul.

We will overcome this and America will be the greater for it.
And my hope is that New York is going to lead the way forward and together we will.”

In closing, please take this virus seriously, please take care of yourselves, please be safe.

Chris Burdick
914 666 6530
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