YORKTOWN, NY — March 13, 2020 – Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater declared a local state of emergency this Friday morning to address the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the community.
The declaration was made after consultation with the Town Board and it came a day after town officials learned that a Yorktown resident tested positive for coronavirus. State health officials are testing all of the sick individual’s family and known contacts.
“We have no knowledge of the results of the additional testing, but town government is committed to sharing any information when it becomes available within the bounds of the law,” said Supervisor Slater.
The declaration of a local state of emergency gives the town supervisor the authority to issue emergency orders that could include curfews, regulating movement into and out of certain areas and ordering public places closed, among other powers.
The Town Board has cancelled its March meetings; the emergency declaration allows the town government to implement any policies as needed.
On Thursday town officials instituted a number of measures designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The measures included closing the senior nutrition center until April 1st; suspending all extracurricular activities at the Albert A. Cappellini Community and Cultural Center until April 1; and discontinuing routine home visits by town inspectors except for emergencies. A list of the measures is provided below.
“The town believes the best course of action is to implement social distancing practices, which means limiting the opportunity for people to assemble in large groups,” said Supervisor Slater. “While we are encouraging social distancing, we are not suspending social interaction. Now more than ever, we should be taking advantage of modern technology to communicate and check in on our vulnerable neighbors and loved ones.”
Both the Lakeland Central School District and Yorktown Central School District are closed today for a previously scheduled staff development day. School officials are determining whether schools can reopen next week.
Yorktown’s public-health safety measures include:
• The Nutrition Center will be closed until April 1st. Staff will be enhancing the meals on wheels program to deliver to seniors who rely on town services.
• All extracurricular activity at the Albert A. Cappellini Community and Cultural Center will be suspended until April 1st.
• Staff who enter occupied homes for inspections or repairs will only do so for emergencies until April 1st.
• The John C. Hart Memorial Library will limit its capacity during operating hours and it will close on Sundays until April 1st.
• Governmental meetings will continue, but public hearings will be postponed until April.
• Yorktown Stage will close through April 1 and their production of The Sound of Music scheduled for the end of April is canceled.
• SOAC Basketball’s season finale scheduled for next week is postponed to an undetermined date in April.
• Maple Weekends at Hilltop Hanover Farm and White Oak Farm on March 21, 22, 28 and 29 are canceled.
• Hilltop Hanover Farm’s Pancake Breakfasts are canceled.
• The housing voucher program (Section 8) at the Cappellini center will only accept mailed applications.
• Cleaning in Town Hall of doorknobs, handrails and light fixtures four times a day.
• For any/all inspections needed to be completed to continue construction, the building department will accept a letter from any design profession with pictures.
• The Water Department is splitting its staff into two groups, a regular shift (6:30 am to 2:30 pm) will have 6 workers and a second shift (3 pm to 11 pm) will have 3 workers.
• Sewer Department daily activities will be limited to tasks required to keep our facilities in regular working order, i.e. preventive maintenance, repair, inspection and related work tasks.
• Any employee who is out of the country will be put on a two-week paid administrative leave before returning to work.
The town government continues to operate normally and no additional public restrictions are in effect.
“This situation is very fluid, and frankly, unprecedented. Information has changed several times making it that much harder to provide accurate material for dissemination. The Town will remain proactive in communication with the public and transmit accurate and appropriate information to our staff,” said Supervisor Slater. “Should anyone have specific questions please never hesitate to contact me directly.”