- Cloey Callahan
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced at his Wednesday, January 28 press conference that all orange zone restrictions across the state have been lifted following a decline in new case and hospitalization rates. However, Newburgh and New Windsor still remain identified as a yellow zone.
At this time, there are only five identified yellow micro-zone clusters, with the four others all being in or around Manhattan.
“New York State has finally reached a point where we are comfortable saying the holiday surge we experienced from November to January has subsided,” Governor Cuomo said in a press release. “While our infection and hospitalization rates are on the decline and more vaccines are in our immediate future, this war is not over and we must remain smart.”
Despite the good news for the rest of the state, Newburgh and New Windsor continue to have additional restrictions. Cuomo said that numbers of COVID-19 positivity have been down across the state and now they are focusing on where it continues to be the highest.
With the yellow zone designation, which was first put in place in our area on November 19, Non-residential gatherings are limited to 25 people, residential gatherings are limited to 10 people, houses of worship have to be at 50 percent capacity and schools are open with 20 percent weekly testing of in-person students and faculty. Businesses are able to remain open and restaurants must only seat four people per table and close by 10 p.m.
On Wednesday, January 27, Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus reported that there are 43 percent ICU beds available and 31 percent regular hospital beds available. There are 154 people hospitalized in Orange County. Thirty two people are on ventilators.
The City of Newburgh had 281 positive cases, Town of Newburgh had 257 and Town of New Windsor had 260. The rolling average of the past week was 2,700 cases for the entire county.
At the end of November, the City of Newburgh announced a mandatory mask mandate to help residents and businesses double down on efforts to keep the community safe and healthy. The ordinance establishes a mandatory requirement for the use of face masks and face coverings on private and public property in the City when unable to maintain a distance of six feet. Most importantly, it does establish a penalty for any violation of the ordinance. Anyone who violates the ordinance may be subject to a fine in the amount of $250 for the first offense and $500 for any additional violations within a one-year period.
For more information, including where to get tested, visit cityofnewburgh-ny.gov/home/news/covid-19-update-yellow-zone-status-response.