New City, NY, – County Executive Ed Day issued a Declaration of a State of Emergency in Rockland in order to take additional actions to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19). The State of Emergency will be in effect for thirty days, through April 15, and may be extended at that time.
Rockland County now has a total of 18 positive cases of COVID-19.
There are 4 Orders included as part of this declaration:
Emergency School Closing Order
- All public and private schools that serve grades K-12 to suspend all classroom and extracurricular functions for two weeks, effective 12:00 AM, Tuesday, March 17. This order may be extended at the continued request of the Superintendents. Private schools will have an additional day to implement this Order.
- All universities, colleges, and other public and private educational facilities must exclude students from those facilities before 12:00 AM, Wednesday, March 18. They are NOT required to dorms or dining halls as we understand that some students have not been able to travel home. But non-residents are prohibited from visiting student housing or dining facilities.
- Facilities that are solely dedicated to daycare, preschool and pre-kindergarten are exempt from this order.
Hoarding Prevention Order
- Only two “commercial units” (for example, two bottles of hand sanitizer) from the list of restricted items can be sold to a household or business per day.
COVID-19 Test Protective Order
- People who are awaiting test results to stay home and avoid interaction with the public until their test results are returned, at which time they will receive further instructions from their physicians or public health authorities.
Buffet and Salad Bar Protection Order
- Limits buffets and salad bars to per-packaging their food for sale.
“We are taking these steps in service to the health and safety of our children and to ensure that all of our residents have a chance to purchase the medicine, soap, cleaning products, food, baby formula and even toilet paper that they need,” said County Executive Ed Day. “As we all take these necessary precautions we must not forget about our friends and neighbors. It is more important than ever that we work together and support those who are struggling. We are embarking on a very difficult journey, but I have faith in all of you, my friends and neighbors. Together we can overcome anything that stands in our way. We did it before and we will do it again.”
Rockland BOCES Chief Operating Officer Dr. Mary Jean Marsico said, “On behalf of Rockland BOCES and our eight component school districts, I want to thank County Executive Day and Commissioner Ruppert for their tireless efforts to ensure the health and wellness of our 40,000 students and their families. Today’s order closing public and private schools – halting in-person instruction for at least the next two weeks – is a big and necessary step.”
Marsico urged all Rockland County families to monitor official school district websites and regular messaging channels for home instruction, food service and other support resources and information.
Dr. Patricia Ruppert stressed that anyone who feels sick should stay home and said, “I have been advising all residents for the last week to practice ‘social distancing.’ Today I am going a step further and asking residents to consider staying home as much as you can. We are seeing community spread of this disease which means that you should prepare for possible exposure wherever you are. The surest way to prevent this and any disease is to avoid contact with it.”
Violation of any of these Orders is considered a Class “B” Misdemeanor. Anyone found guilty of a Class “B” misdemeanor in New York faces maximum penalties of up to three months in jail or one-year of probation. In addition, a fine of up to five hundred dollars or double the amount of the defendant’s gain from the commission of the crime may be imposed.
In addition to the “B” Misdemeanor charge, violators of Order #1 and #3 would face fines from our Commissioner of Health of $2000 per day per violation under the Rockland County Sanitary Code.
County Executive Day also announced the imposition of austerity measures within County Government and made requests of local businesses including:
- Local stores to allow only older residents and those who have underlying health conditions to shop during the first hour they are open each day.
Rockland County Government is imposing austerity measures will be curtailing all discretionary purchases and may implement further measures if they become necessary. Residents are asked to visit our website to stay up to date on possible changes to the availability of in person services.