Coronavirus News: Rockland County Executive Ed Day wants containment zone

ROCKLAND COUNTY, New York (WABC) -- Rockland County Executive Ed Day demanded that Governor Andrew Cuomo put a containment zone in place around two zip codes hit particularly hard by the coronavirus.

He also went after state officials, saying their directives are making it impossible for county police to enforce social distancing rules.

"The vague language in (Cuomo's) executive orders has left many people confused about what is allowed or not allowed," Day said. "The guidance from the state has been inconclusive, and Governor Cuomo's office has not given any specific guidance concerning places of worship, despite requests from at least two County Executives."

Day said the county handled and controlled the measles outbreak without state intervention, and Cuomo's executive orders don't allow him to control what's going on in his own county.

"This situation has completely hamstrung law enforcement's ability to enforce these orders," he said. "This has placed a significant burden on the county's health inspectors, whose regular job does not include maintaining public order, a task they are not trained or equipped to handle."

There have been 42 deaths in the county, and Day threatened to appeal to the White House if he doesn't get a response from Cuomo.

Rockland has reached dangerous levels of COVID-19 cases in two zip codes (10977 and 10952), and Day said more needs to be done -- especially in the hot spots in the town of Ramapo.

"To be frank, I am fed up with seeing people all across Rockland violate the common-sense social distancing guidelines from New York State," he said. "We are now asking once again that Governor Cuomo and the New York State Commissioner of Health allow for local enforcement of the governor's executive orders. Not just for Rockland County, but across our state. Please give us the ability to ensure the health, safety and lives of our residents."

But since the containment zone would cover most of Monsey and Spring Valley, many in the Orthodox Jewish community feel they are being singled out and discriminated against, as they did during the measles outbreak.

Jewish leaders say more cases might well be the result of more testing.

Yossi Gestetner, of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council, insists that safety measures are being followed and points out there have been few fatalities in Orthodox communities.

But Day says he fears a spike in cases with the Passover holiday approaching.

MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE



Where are the testing centers

See how our communities are making a difference
Free educational resources for parents and children
How you can help victims of coronavirus



Coronavirus news and live updates in New York
Coronavirus news and live updates in New Jersey

Coronavirus news and live updates in Connecticut
New York City updates
Long Island updates



How coronavirus is leaving ghost towns in its path
Coronavirus prevention: how clean are your hands?

Social distancing: What is it and how does it stop the spread of coronavirus?
Coronavirus closures and cancelations
Coronavirus tips: What Americans need to know

Related Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.