COVID makes a steady, relentless return in Westchester: 'We are now back to May-level numbers'

New Rochelle
New Rochelle. Photo credit iStock/Getty Images

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The COVID crisis in Westchester has gotten worse and worse, with numbers reaching levels seen during the spring peak.

The county’s rolling positivity rate is at 5% this week, with 570 new cases and three deaths reported Tuesday.

In Ossining and Peekskill, the positivity rate is close to 10%, while it is nearing 9% in Port Chester.

Ossining has launched an aggressive attack to snuff out the nearly 10% positivity rate with increased testing at Open Door Family Medical in Westchester Medical Center and public outreach.

Village Mayor Victoria Garretty said tracing pinpoints small gatherings as the culprit.

"I really want people to understand that when you invite other people to your home or go to another person's home it is not longer a safe space," Garretty said.

Schools appears to be a safe space and not a place where COVID is spreading, according to Superintendent Ray Sanchez.

"We tested more than 550 and we had 7 cases, so, you know, by all accounts that's lower than, you know, our community is in terms of positivity rate," Sanchez said, adding that it's proof masks, distance and good hygiene work.

COVID cases are also on the rise in Yonkers, New Rochelle, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. All of them remain in yellow zones.

Westchester COVID
Photo credit Westchester County

“We are now back to May-level numbers of infection, of active number of cases and of hospitalizations. This is not a rosy picture,” said County Executive George Latimer.

He said residents have to be more cautious going into the holidays.

“The state has laid a priority out to stop the spread from small gatherings, perhaps the hardest things to do, as we now go through a complete nine months of pandemic,” Latimer said. “We all have pandemic fatigue.”

Westchester has issued a health alert to parents to keep up with doctor visits for their children.

Two children recently died from asthma. Officials said those deaths could have been prevented, as the children had not seen their doctors since the start of the pandemic.