By Barrett Seaman
On Day Two of life in the Yellow Zone for residents of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, officials began to react and to share their thoughts with the public. Having postponed a scheduled Friday return to in-person classes, School Superintendent Christopher Borsari advised the school community on Saturday afternoon that all schools in the district will remain closed through Wednesday, November 25th, when Thanksgiving break begins. They will re-open, however, on Monday, November 30th when the district believes it will be ready to test 20% of returning students, staff and faculty, as required under state guidelines for Yellow Zones.
A key to the decision was the availability through the county Department of Health of rapid antigen testing kits at no cost to the district. A week’s hiatus, wrote Borsari, will also “allow time to acquire the tests, train staff, and coordinate the procedures both internally and with our partners at the Department of Health.”
Testing would continue to be required at the end of the second week. If infections rates fall to below 1.5% in the community as a whole, Yellow Zone restrictions would be lifted.
“In the meantime,” concluded Borsari’s memo, “please continue to do your part by avoiding large gatherings and practicing the ‘Big Three’: wear a mask, wash/sanitize your hands and practice social distancing.”
A similar plea came Friday from Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray, who, in a memo to village residents, wrote, “A COVID Yellow Zone is like a Yellow Flag in racing or a Yellow Card in soccer. It means slow down, caution, and stop acting recklessly. It’s a warning.”
“– As a community, we have to come together; we must wear masks; and we must maintain social distances of at least 6 feet. There are many people who live and work in Sleepy Hollow who are elderly or immunocompromised and their lives depend on us doing the right thing. No one wants to get the virus, let alone transmit it to our friends and neighbors.
— My family, which had already scaled back our Thanksgiving dinner to less than 10 people, will now be staying in our respective homes and will not gather at all. I ask that you consider the same.”
What the Thanksgiving break will bring is the big unknown going into the holiday. Every official from the governor on down is worried that family get-togethers, parties and, students returning home from schools will send infection rates up more and extend restrictions.