BRONXVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Are people growing tired of social distancing?

The police chief in Bronxville thinks that may be the case, and he fears it will only prolong the pandemic, reports CBS2’s Tony Aiello.

The street scene in the Westchester County village on the last day of March is disconcerting in a way it would not have been on March 1.

Residents, many of them older, are out and about despite a directive to stay home except for essential activities due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“My frustration turned to anger when we saw large groups of villagers congregating in the business district drinking coffee, children riding bicycles together, playing soccer, playing lacrosse,” said Police Chief Christopher Satriale.

(credit: CBS2)

Satriale has been on a mission to get this well-to-do area to take social distancing seriously.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

He may remove benches if people keep congregating. Every few days he sends out a stern robocall.

“I remain frustrated and disturbed by the level of activity in the village that blatantly violates the government directive to stay home,” the message warns.

This week Satriale is posting “Stay Safe – Stay Home” signs donated by businessman Michael Santoliquido.

“Recently just worked at the hospital and seeing all of the patients coming in and out of the hospital was lifechanging, where we are in fear of what’s transpiring,” said Santoliquido.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

When you crunch the numbers, it turns out Bronxville actually has a higher per-capita COVID-19 infection rate than Yonkers, New York’s fourth-largest city just across the Bronx River Parkway.

The police chief believes “cabin fever” is taking a toll and leading people to risk exposure.

“It’s frustrating staying home, difficult to stay home,” said Satriale. “This is a dangerous virus, we’re shedding it without symptoms, and we need to stop the spread.”

With some indications, social distancing is working to flatten the curve. It’s important to practice what the experts preach.

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