Rockland County Executive Day criticizes Westchester's state of emergency authorization
The omicron variant and fears of a potential spike has prompted Westchester County to implement a state of emergency, but Rockland's county executive think it's unnecessary and a move motivated by panic.
Westchester and Ulster counties are currently the only two to make the declaration, but they aren't the only Hudson Valley counties reporting concerning positivity rates.
"We're not going to overreact to slight movements on the map. We will react if conditions on the ground call for it. That's what crisis management is all about," says Rockland County Executive Ed Day.
Day criticized Westchester County's state of emergency, a move he says sparks urgency when numbers indicate otherwise.
A total of 291 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 across the Mid-Hudson region. Last winter, that number was more than doubled.
Rockland County has 23 patients, Dutchess County has 45 patients, Westchester County has 92 and Orange County has 163 cases.
Rockland County isn't alone. News 12 reached out to Orange and Dutchess county executives and both say they have no plans at this time to enact a state of emergency.
Instead, both counties urge people to get vaccinated. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro tells News 12 that he is "working closely with hospitals, health care providers, school districts, colleges and more to monitor COVID-19 and adapt as necessary."
On Tuesday, Pfizer's CEO was quoted reaffirming what health experts already said - that the new omicron variant appears milder yet more contagious. But until case numbers reach a level of concern, the county executive says he has no plans to panic.
"No politics, no fear. We want to basically take people down a road where they have some confidence that leaders in local government are doing right by them," says Day.