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Coronavirus in the Hudson Valley: What You Need to Know


Follow this page for the latest information and updates regarding COVID-19, closings, and legislation in the Hudson Valley.

October 18

Beginning November 6, New York ski resorts can reopen with 50-percent indoor capacity. To protect skiers, snowboarders, and employees, masks are required at all times, except when eating, drinking, and skiing. Gondolas and lifts can only be used by members of the same party, and ski lessons must be limited to a maximum of 10 people. All shared and rented equipment must be thoroughly cleansed and disinfected. On peak days or days when multiple trails are closed, capacity on the mountain must decrease by 25 percent.

October 17

Starting October 23, Hudson Valley movie theaters can reopen at 25-percent capacity with a maximum of 50 people per screen. To reopen, theaters must be in counties that operate below two-percent infection rates on a 14-day average and have no cluster zones. Inside the theaters, masks are required except when seated and eating or drinking. Social distancing, enhanced air filtration, and additional staff to ensure compliance are all required.

October 15

In an effort to contain the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Rockland County, Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert declared a Commissioner’s Standing Order that mandates all educational institutions, childcare programs, and school transportation companies require children and students over age two to wear face coverings at all times, with the exception of approved breaks.

Any student, staff member, or visitor caught without a face covering at one of these organizations is subject to a fine of up to $2,000 per violation per day.

October 6

A number of outbreak clusters across New York State prompts Governor Cuomo to launch a targeted initiative to minimize the spread. Depending upon the severity of the outbreak, impacted regions must adhere to increased quarantine and social distancing guidelines. In the Hudson Valley, impacted zip codes include: 10940, 10950, 12550 in Orange County and 10901, 10952, and 10977 in Rockland County.

Within each zip code cluster, regions are distinguished red, orange, and yellow from increasing to decreasing severity.

For regions in red, worship is reduced to 25-percent capacity with a max of 10 people, mass gatherings are prohibited, only essential businesses are allowed open, dining is takeout only, and school is remote only.

For regions in orange, worship is reduced to 33-percent capacity with a maximum of 25 people, mass gatherings are limited to 10 people, high-risk and non-essential businesses like gyms and personal care must close, dining is outdoor only with a max of four people per table, and school is remote only.

For regions in yellow, worship is reduced to 50-percent capacity, mass gatherings are limited to 25 people maximum, indoor and outdoor dining is limited to four people per table, and schools must implement mandatory testing for in-person settings.

To minimize these clusters, the above-mentioned regulations will remain in effect for a minimum of 14 days. Anyone who is caught sponsoring a mass gathering in the regions impacted may be fined $15,000. For more information, download New York State’s COVID Alert NY app to receive exposure alert notifications and updates.

September 3

Casinos can reopen beginning September 9 with a 25-percent occupancy limit. Like with gyms, casino air filtration systems must meet guidelines.

August 17

Hudson Valley gyms can reopen beginning August 24 at 33-percent capacity as long as HVAC systems meet guidelines. Local authorities must inspect every gym before it opens or within two weeks of opening to ensure all spaces meet requirements. Upon opening, gyms must enforce the use of masks and other strict health measures.

August 14

Bowling alleys can reopen beginning August 17 at half-capacity with face coverings and every other lane closed.

July 17

Restaurants with liquor licenses cannot serve alcoholic beverages unless they are accompanied by the purchase of a food item. All bar service is available only for seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet or physical barriers.

July 13

Schools in phase four can reopen if the region’s daily infection rate stays below five percent, according to the 14-day average. They must close if infection rate surpasses nine percent during the seven-day average after August 1.

July 12

Limited concessions at state beaches can reopen. The state is monitoring an uptick in COVID-19 cases in Rensselaer County.

July 8

Malls with enhanced HVAC filtration systems and COVID-19 safety measures in place can reopen beginning July 10.

New York State will reveal whether or not schools reopen during the first week in August.

All county fairs are canceled until further notice.

July 7

The Mid-Hudson Region enters phase four of reopening.

July 1

The Capital Region can enter phase four of reopening.

June 24

New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut issue a joint travel advisory for individuals traveling from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. Anyone arriving from these states with significant COVID-19 cases must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Regions in phase four can hold gatherings of up to 50 people, up from 25 in phase three. Indoor religious gatherings are allowed at up to 33 percent of the location’s capacity.

June 23

The Mid-Hudson Region can enter phase three of reopening.

June 17

The Capital Region can enter phase three of reopening.

June 15

Gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed during phase three of reopening. This number is up from the previous limit of 10 in the first two phases.

June 14

Low-risk youth sports can begin July 6 for regions in phase three of reopening, with a limit of two spectators per child. Sports permitted include tennis, kayaking, canoeing, golf, racket games, bocce, frisbee, shuffleboard, zip lining, rope courses, batting cages, shooting ranges, and swim classes.

June 9

The Mid-Hudson Region can enter phase two of reopening.

June 3

The Capital Region can enter phase two of reopening, which includes outdoor dining and hair salons. Summer camps (not including sleep-away camps, about which a decision will be made at a later date) can open statewide beginning June 29.

Low-risk, outdoor recreational activities and businesses can open in phase one.

June 1

New York dentists can reopen, with dentists’ offices subject to safety and social distancing guidelines.

May 30

Governor Cuomo signs a bill to provide death benefits to all frontline workers who passed away in service during the pandemic.

May 26

The Mid-Hudson Region begins phase one reopening. Veterinarians can reopen statewide.

May 25

Campgrounds open in New York.

May 24

Professional sports leagues in New York can commence spring training.

May 21

Summer school will be conducted through distancing learning in New York State.

Rockland County joins Albany, Columbia, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Ulster, and Westchester on the list of counties approved to resume elective surgeries.

Religious gatherings of no more than 10 people and drive-in and parking lot services are allowed beginning today.

May 20

Albany Medical Center and Westchester Medical Center are two of the 21 hospitals participating in the state’s two-week pilot program to allow increased visitations for family members and loved ones. The program begins on May 26.

May 19

Beginning May 20, the Capital Region can begin Phase 1 of reopening. Memorial Day ceremonies of 10 people or less will be permitted.

May 16

Horse racing tracks can reopen without fans beginning June 1.

Westchester County joins Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, and Ulster on the list of counties allowed to resume elective surgeries.

May 15

While Central New York, the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and the Southern Tier can begin phase one of reopening starting today, the Hudson Valley will remain on pause until May 28 or when it reaches all seven of the required benchmarks for reopening.

State beaches will reopen beginning the Friday of Memorial Day weekend at 50-percent capacity. Masks will be required in cases when social distancing is not possible. City, county, and town beaches may reopen on May 22, provided that they enforce those minimum rules, with the option to add additional restrictions.

May 13

Albany, Columbia, Orange, and Rensselaer Counties can resume elective surgeries. Dutchess, Putnam, and Ulster Counties were given the green light to resume these surgeries on April 29.

May 11

Beginning May 15, certain low-risk businesses and recreational activities throughout New York State will reopen. These include landscaping, gardening, low-risk outdoor recreational activities like tennis, and drive-in movie theaters.

May 1

K-12 schools and college facilities in New York State must remain closed for the remainder of the academic year while continuing to provide distance learning.

April 29

In New York, 35 counties are approved to resume elective outpatient treatments. In the Hudson Valley, these include Dutchess, Putnam, and Ulster Counties.

April 21

Governor Cuomo announces that New York State will reopen on a regional basis based on the number of trending cases of COVID-19 per county.

Select counties in New York will be allowed to commence elective outpatient treatment in the near future. Albany, Dutchess, Rockland, and Westchester Counties are excluded due to their high numbers of COVID-19 cases.

April 16

New York on PAUSE extends until May 15. Non-essential workers must continue to stay home, and all social distancing rules remain in place throughout the state.

April 15

Governor Cuomo issues an executive order that all individuals must wear a mask or face covering in public in situations where social distancing is not possible, such as when taking public transportation, visiting the supermarket, or walking on a busy sidewalk or trail. The order goes into effect on Friday, April 17 at 8 p.m.

March 29

Governor Cuomo announces that NYS on Pause will extend to April 15. All non-essential workers should continue to work from home. All schools remain closed until that date as well. The state will reevaluate mid-month to determine if additional restrictions are necessary.

Pharmacies agree to offer free home delivery to reduce in-person waiting time.

March 27

Scenic Hudson closes Mount Beacon Park parking area and trailhead on Howland Ave in Beacon to the public.

March 25

Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro announces that Dutchess Community College will serve as an additional care recovery facility in Dutchess County, with Marist and Vassar Colleges to follow as the need arises.

March 23

Drive-thru coronavirus collection sites open in Dutchess and Ulster Counties in partnership with Nuvance Health. Locations include Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill and Tech City in Kingston. These sites are open to collect samples from individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. To visit, a person must have a physician’s order in advance. These are not testing sites, and testing of samples at each Hudson Valley collection point will be conducted offsite. Sites are open Monday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

In the Hudson Valley, Pulse-MD Urgent Care offers virtual visits to review symptoms.

All non-essential gatherings of any size are temporarily banned in New York State. Department of Motor Vehicles offices are temporary closed for in-office visits. License renewals and similar online transactions are still available, and license and permit expirations will be extended.

March 22

All non-essential businesses must close by 8 p.m.

March 20

Governor Cuomo mandates that 100 percent of the workforce must stay home. Excluded essential services in the financial, food services, infrastructure, media, medical, and retail industries, among others, can be found here.

Restaurants and similar food service operations in New York State are allowed to sell grocery items for a two-week period beginning March 20. Requirements for selling packaged foods like flour, pasta, sugar, refrigerated meals, and ready-to-eat dishes can be found here.

All barber shops, nail and hair salons, and tattoo parlors must close by Saturday at 8 p.m. There is a 90-day moratorium on evictions for commercial and residential tenants.

Cuomo announces Matilda’s Law to protect New Yorkers ages 70 and up, as well as those with compromised immune systems. Under it, individuals must remain indoors, pre-screen visitors by taking temperature, instruct visitors to wear masks, and remain six feet apart at all times.

March 19

All retail shopping malls, amusement parks, and bowling alleys in the Hudson Valley must close by 8 p.m. on Thursday night. Select mall stores with independent entrances will remain open.

Governor Cuomo signed a bill to guarantee job protection and pay for any New Yorkers under quarantine due to COVID-19. He also issued an executive order to direct non-essential businesses to implement work-from-home policy beginning Friday, March 20. Any businesses that rely upon in-office employees must decrease their in-office workforce by at least 75 percent. Exemptions include shipping, media, warehouse, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks, and related financial institutions.

New York State mortgage services must provide 90-day mortgage relief to borrowers impacted by COVID-19. Additionally, all New York housing courts are closed, halting all evictions and pending lawsuits. This applies to both residential and commercial evictions, and court functions related to housing, such as code violations, repair orders, and landlord lockouts, will continue to be heard.

March 18

Two Rockland County residents have died this March from the novel strand of the coronavirus (COVID-19), totaling six New Yorkers to pass during this pandemic. The first death was of a man who lived in the Village of Suffern and, according to the Rockland County Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Laura Carbone, he suffered from underlying health conditions. Rockland County has a total of 31 positive cases of the novel coronavirus, as of March 17.

As the situation unfolds, officials across the Hudson Valley and New York are making decisions aimed at hindering the spread of the virus. From restaurant closings to gathering bans, keep close to this page for the latest COVID-19 updates in the Hudson Valley and New York.

What the state is doing

In an effort to flatten the curve of cases and mitigate the pressure put on the state’s healthcare system, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a New York State of Emergency as of March 7, which was followed by a declaration of a National Emergency by President Trump on March 13.

On March 16, Gov. Cuomo announced theaters, casinos, dine-in restaurants, gyms, and bars will be closed indefinitely beginning 8 p.m. Monday night. Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut and Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey took the same action in their respective states, all following the precedent Mayor DeBlasio announced in New York City on March 15. All beauty salons, nail salons, and barbershops are also closed and no longer providing services.

Read More: Support Hudson Valley Restaurants During Quarantine With These Delicious Food Deals

Gatherings with more than 50 people have also been banned in the tri-state area. Formerly, crowds of 500 were banned in New York. Cuomo also issued that non-essential state workers will work from home, adding that local governments need to reduce their workforce by 50 percent. Visits to nursing homes remain restricted as they have been since March 13.

Cuomo also announced a new job protection bill for New Yorkers who have been quarantined and unable to go to work. Employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million will provide job protection for the duration of the quarantine order. Employers with less than 100 employees and a net income greater than $1 million will provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave and job protection for the duration of the quarantine order. Employers with more than 100 employees will provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection during the duration of the quarantine.

In both those instances, employers must guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.

Cuomo has also called on the President to deregulate coronavirus testing at the federal level in order to allow local governments to take over and expand testing options. In his recent New York Times Op-Ed, the Governor also called for universal shutdowns of schools and public places, while also asking that the Army Corps of Engineers be tasked with building and organizing temporary medical facilities to expand hospital capacity. In New York State, all park fees at state, local, and county parks are waived, and all public programs and events at parks in the state are suspended indefinitely. Please call individual parks beforehand to confirm whether or not they are open. 

What the Hudson Valley is doing

Rockland and Albany Counties currently have the highest amount of coronavirus patients in the Hudson Valley. Rockland’s Commissioner of Health, Dr. Patricia Ruppert, is ensuring residents the county is “well prepared to monitor individuals for COVID-19…considering the recent measles outbreak in Rockland that came to an end.” While Albany’s Commissioner, Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, encourages residents to spend time outside with household members and stay connected to friends and family through technology while practicing social distancing.

Read more: Things to Do This Week While Staying Self-Isolated

How this impacts schools

Also beginning March 16, all schools in the state are closed for at least the next two weeks. This comes after the Board of Education waived the 180-school-day minimum and the NYS Public High School Athletic Association postponed Winter Sports State Championships.

As for local colleges, Dutchess Community College is closed until March 30, The Culinary Institute of America is closed until April 16, Bard College moves to online classes, Vassar College moves to online classes with the plan to reevaluate on April 8, and Mount Saint Mary’s College moves to online classes with the plan to reevaluate and hopefully move back to face-to-face class on March 30. Marist College extends spring break by a week with the plan to reevaluate at the end of the two-week break following the diagnosis of a commuter student, who is not a Dutchess County resident, with COVID-19.

Fotos 593 | AdobeStock

What you need to know about coronavirus

The symptoms for COVID-19 include cough, fever, and respiratory problems. If you are experiencing symptoms, call your healthcare provider before seeking in-person attention or treatment.

According to the CDC, symptoms can arise anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. According to the New York State Department of Health, “The status for required mandatory quarantine is a person that has been in close contact (6 ft.) with someone who is positive, but is not displaying symptoms for COVID-19; or person has traveled to China, Iran, Japan, South Korea or Italy and is displaying symptoms of COVID-19. The status for required mandatory isolation is a person that has tested positive for COVID-19, whether or not displaying symptoms for COVID-19.”

According to Gov. Cuomo,  drive-through testing site, like the one in Glen Island, New Rochelle, is expected to open soon in Rockland County.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker urges residents to follow the Center for Disease Control’s advice regarding the virus. In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available. In addition, cover your cough, stay home, and avoid face-to-face interactions while continually disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces. Reducing cases reduces hospitalizations and, ultimately, deaths.

According to the Department of Health, as of March 16, there are 950 positive cases in New York. Rockland has 16, Albany: 12, Orange: 11, Dutchess: 10, Ulster: 7, and Putnam: 2.