June 2020 -- Sivan-Tammuz 5780,  Volume 26, Issue 6

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Latimer Presents Special Zoom Briefing in Conjunction with Jewish History and Heritage Month

By Stephen E. Lipken


Westchester County Executive George Latimer with Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins presented a Special Zoom Briefing in conjunction with Jewish History and Heritage Month on Thursday, May 21st, under the auspices of Westchester Jewish Council. “Today we have 74 leaders within the Jewish community, a mixture of top-notch volunteers and professionals, spanning the membership of WJC and beyond,” according to CEO Elliot Forchheimer.


Introduced by WJC President Lisa Roberts, Latimer gave an update of the New York COVID-19 response. “We were the first of those who were affected by the original index patient, a member of a Congregation in New Rochelle,” Latimer stated.  “Testing within that Congregation created some large numbers within Westchester County, drawing attention from national media.


“Where we stand today, we have 32,500 who have tested positive in Westchester County but 30,000 have gone through a two-week incubation period, leaving slightly over 2,000 active cases.  There are slightly under 400 COVID cases hospitalized; 2 out 3 people who passed away were 70 years and over. A total of 1300 people have died but rate of deaths has decreased from 45-50 to 6 per night.  There is now concern about a new COVID-related disease of pre-teens and teens.


“We tested just short of 130,000 people in the County, 13% of our population.”

Ribbons of Remembrance at Lenoir Preserve in Yonkers gives a chance to commemorate those who have died.  An onsite small birdhouse contains ribbons and markers to note the names; the ribbons can then be pinned to trees.


Latimer outlined four phases for re-opening: 1) construction, curbside pickup; 2) Insurance, finance, law, local governments; 3) restaurants, accommodating no more than 50 people, possibly utilizing outdoor service; 4) higher education, summer park events.


“From a religious standpoint, we are working through how services can be conducted with Jewish minyans of 10 members.  Six hiking trails have been opened as well as 6 public golf courses,” Latimer concluded.