The White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator has singled out two counties in the New York City suburbs as having the fastest growing number of cases. And now the Rockland County executive is asking for immediate state assistance.
White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx on Sunday:
“Some of the fastest-growing counties are not New York itself, New York City, when you look per 100,000; it’s Rockland, it’s Bergen,” says Birx. “So I mean, these are, all of these places are people that have transited through cities.”
She refers to Bergen County, New Jersey.
“Having Dr. Deborah Birx, the head of the U.S. Coronavirus Task Force, point to our county as having a rate of infection higher than New York City is sobering,” Day says. “I want to assure all of you, as I have said many times before, the rate of case identification is not the rate of infection.”
Republican Rockland County Executive Ed Day Monday issued a plea to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“Governor Cuomo, we are asking that you help flatten the curve here in Rockland and specifically in the areas that need your help most,” Day says. “I’ve enjoyed a good relationship with the governor. We’ve been on the phone with his staff on a regular basis and we appreciate the assistance, but clearly after getting national attention here in Rockland, we need the assistance more directly and more purposefully.”
A state Department of Health spokesperson pointed to the governor’s remarks over the weekend, during which he said current temporary hospital sites are part of his goal of having a 1,000-plus patient overflow facility in each New York City borough as well as in Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
As of Monday afternoon, the governor’s office released statistics showing Rockland with 2,511 positive cases. Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Ruppert says the numbers are growing quickly day-to-day, and the county has seen 18 COVID-19 related deaths so far. She says the majority of deaths were people over the age of 50 with preexisting conditions. Again, Day:
“We need our residents to stay home, and we need additional resources and attention from New York state,” Day says.
“Governor Cuomo has shown effective leadership throughout the situation and we now need his help. It is time that aggressive action be taken as we head into the upcoming spring religious holidays of Easter and Passover. We will act in support whatever decisions the governor and the New York state Department of Health make, but the situation we face here is one of urgency. Make no mistake about that,” Day says. “Rockland was originally included in the governor’s plans for temporary hospitals, and we are asking that he revisit the plan as quickly as possible. We are nearing a point where local capacity could soon be overwhelmed. We need definitive action. Possibilities could include our Rockland County Community Fieldhouse as is listed in our emergency plans.”
Meantime, Rockland released a COVID-19 map, available on the county’s website, that displays a breakdown of confirmed cases by zip code. The dashboard also breaks down cases by town, with Ramapo harboring more than 63 percent of the county’s cases.
“As you can see by the zip code breakdown of the confirmed cases, we’ve identified the areas where more action must be taken to help flatten that curve; 10952 and 10977 currently have the highest percentages in the county,” says Day.
Those zip codes are in the Spring Valley and Monsey areas.