CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There have been signs of a setback in Westchester County.
The number of coronavirus cases linked to a single high school graduation now stands at more than a dozen, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Monday.
It’s another pandemic plot twist for Horace Greeley High School‘s Class of 2020. First, COVID-19 forced graduation to become a drive-in ceremony at the Chappaqua Metro-North parking lot. Now, everyone who attended is under orders to quarantine until July 5, after more than a dozen tested positive for the disease.
People ignoring protocols, including lots of hugging at the June 20 event, appears to be the culprit.
“Nearly no one was wearing a mask. It was as if COVID hadn’t even existed for the last three months,” said Sarah Alvi, who attended the event.
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The district claims it spread the word about the need to wear masks and respect social distancing. New Castle Police say an effort was made at enforcement with the estimated 300 people there.
“Two officers were going through the crowd. They were putting reminders out there. We did not issue any summonses. Most people were complying while the officers went through. In fact, those two officers, now we have them quarantining, too,” Lt. James Dumser said.
The small spike in Westchester comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a literal monument to the progress in New York on Monday, a styrofoam mountain to illustrate the steady reduction in cases since the peak in April.
He also shamed President Donald Trump for his reluctance to embrace wearing a mask.
“Sign an executive order directing everyone to wear a mask. How we are at this point as a nation and we still haven’t done the simple, easy, minimal step of saying you must wear a mask when you’re in public,” Cuomo said.
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As Cuomo criticizes Florida, Texas and other states seeing spikes, critics point out the pandemic toll there is far lower compared to New York.
New York has seen 161 deaths per 100,000 residents. The Florida death has seen 16 per 100,000 and Texas just eight deaths per 100,000.
The coronavirus spike in Chappaqua has been traced back to people who recently traveled to Florida. It is a setback, but County Executive George Latimer said to keep it in perspective. Three weeks ago, Westchester had almost 1,000 active cases, but now there’s only about 500.