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HomeLarchmontMamaroneck Supervisor: No Reason for Panic over Virus; Other Updates

Mamaroneck Supervisor: No Reason for Panic over Virus; Other Updates

Stop and Shop, Mamaroneck, Tuesday. Photo: Stephanie Lombardo


Update: Mamaroneck Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert Shaps announced a one hour delay for middle and high school students Thursday to train teachers in the event of an outbreak, to use technology tools to facilitate remote teaching.

Update: The New York Daily News reports the wife, son, and daughter of the New Rochelle man who tested positive yesterday, as well as a friend that drove the patient to the hospital, have all tested positive.


As residents of the area learned Tuesday about a confirmed coronavirus case in New Rochelle, and the closure of a private school in Mamaroneck, Town Supervisor Nancy Seligson sent a message to Mamaroneck Town residents by robocall and email saying, “fear and panic will not help us and are not needed.”

Meanwhile, residents flocked to stores that were quickly selling out of sanitizer, tissues and related products. At the nearby Trader Joe’s, employees say Sunday, March 1 was one of the most crowded days they’d seen.

“Advice from State and the County says to continue your regular schedule but wash your hands often with soap and water,” Seligson’s message says.   “Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.  Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash,  stay home if you are not feeling well or sick and call your primary physician if you have symptoms of the virus.  Please check the Town website for new information as we will update it as new information becomes available.”



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Richard J. Ward
Richard J. Ward
March 7, 2020 2:36 PM

Hong Kong maintains a highly-rigorous environment of virus abatement and containment. Here’s what it’s like.

Before I can enter my office in Hong Kong’s Central business district someone sprays my hands with disinfectant. Someone else takes my temperature. Then I am allowed access to the building’s elevators. Same thing at my Club, The Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong.

In my office every surface that anyone touches is sanitized at least once an hour. Every elevator button, door handle, water cooler knob, coffee machine, escalator banister. Earlier this week I saw the cleaning staff using mops on long poles to wipe down the air conditioning vents in the ceiling.

Almost everyone wears a mask. We know that asymptomatic carriers are walking around. Everyone knows they could be spreading the virus. They know, as Dr. Sanjay Gupta says on CNN’s website, that the WHO recommends the public not wear masks IN ORDER TO keep the limited supply available for medical professionals, not because they are ineffective.

Due to Hong Kong’s open attitude to free trade, stores already are restocked with masks and sanitizer. Masks made in Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nepal, England, Germany, Colombia and elsewhere, as well as hand sanitizer and “rubber” gloves, are widely available.

Nearly all public events have been cancelled. There are virtually no lectures, conventions, conferences. The public gyms and pools are all closed. Border crossings from China are subject to mandatory 14-day quarantine in both directions.

Schools have been closed since Chinese New Year last January until at least late April. That’s three months and counting. Many people work at home or eat in their offices. The sidewalks near the markets are washed regularly. Many people immediately take off their clothes when they get home, wash them and take showers. Gas stations have people pumping gas so no one has to touch the pump handles.

Anyone on home quarantine is visited several times a day by public health officials who check their temperatures. And here there is a public health system that covers all residents, not just citizens. So people seek advice and treatment. They don’t walk around sick because they are uninsured.

We have far fewer COVID-19 cases and rates of transmission than many other places. Only a few over 100 after all this time. And many of them came in from elsewhere either before the border security was beefed up or returned from cruise boats. Life now is beginning to trend towards “normal,” with more people on the streets and in shops and restaurants.

Are people and institutions in the US going to be anywhere near as rigorous? Before it’s too late?

Richard Ward
Former Village of Larchomnt Trustee
Hong Kong

March 7, 2020 7:58 PM

The virus is has very weak virulent factors. One being time outside a host. It’s a respiratory illness spread by direct person to person close contact. But if all that cleaning makes you feel safe from a “Super Flu” it’s all good. Be safe.

March 9, 2020 10:28 AM
Reply to  Informed

It is now a community based virus and can be spread through surface contact, hence the need for cleaning and disinfecting. It also lives on surfaces for up to 9 days. Knowledge is good. I am happy that the Loop is covering the story. Thank you Richard for sharing your experience.

Fran Snedeker
Fran Snedeker
March 26, 2020 2:21 PM

Thank you, Richard, for your detailing of Hong Kong’s response to coronavirus.
We are living now at The Osborn where staff are equally rigorous about cleaning all surfaces in the apartment buildings. And they have instructed us to use ‘barrier’ to touch elevator buttons, door openers, etc. Staff are medically screened upon arrival on the premises and wear masks. We are told to wash our hands immediately upon re-entering our home.
Caution but not panic is the word. We feel remarkably safe and secure.

Dan Hansen
Dan Hansen
March 4, 2020 10:33 AM

Thank you for your informative and hyper local coverage of this global story.

Concise reporting and transparent information will always minimize panic.

The Loop should be commended for this. Keep up the good work

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