MONSEY, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Rockland County is experiencing a new rise in coronavirus cases and officials are now urging people to take precautions during the High Holy Days.
In April, Rockland County became the first area hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic in New York State. In an effort to contain the virus from spreading, the county executive had set up a containment zone for parts of eastern Ramapo.
While the virus later spread to other parts of New York, and the state now has one of the lowest infection rates in the country, Rockland County is seeing a slight spike in cases.
The infection rate is now close to 3% in the region and it’s primarily driven by cases in two zip codes: Monsey and Spring Valley.
As the two areas have large Orthodox Jewish communities, and with the High Holy Days approaching, County Executive Ed Day says community leaders and rabbis are urging people to take precautions.
“We are re-doubling our efforts there to get the word out to them,” Day said. “We understand obviously today is Rosh Hashanah. We have the High Holy Days coming up. We went through this with the measles. We went through this obviously with the coronavirus. We certainly expect to see an uptick, but the critical cases uptick is temporary.”
He notes that all holidays will be watched closely.
“When you see holidays like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas – when you see these holidays come up, families get together, there’s more interaction, obviously, and that’s where, clearly, a virus can take root,” Day said.
The county is also continuing its educational campaign which stresses the importance of social distancing and good hygiene. Multiple agencies are still distributing free masks in the area as well.