Museums, exhibitions, historical sites and low-risk entertainment venues are now allowed to reopen in Putnam County as the Mid-Hudson region enters Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan.
Social gatherings of up to 50 people will also be allowed as will low-risk youth sports including baseball, softball, gymnastics, field hockey, cross country and track, with no more than two spectators.
“We are thrilled to have social gatherings, kids’ sports and our Main Street businesses almost fully back again,” Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “Under the guidance of our Department of Health, we have proceeded with caution throughout this pandemic and our vigilance has paid off. We can now shop Putnam and patronize the businesses that belong to our friends and neighbors, while also maintaining the health and safety of our communities.”
Malls in the Mid-Hudson region, and other areas of the state that have reached Phase 4, will reopen Friday July 10. Malls must have air filtration systems that can remove coronavirus particles from the air. Shoppers will also have to follow social distancing rules and stores will be restricted to 50 percent occupancy.
“We are happy to see that the malls will reopen,” County Executive Odell said. “With nearby states allowing mall shopping, this will level the playing field for New York State.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not permit gyms, indoor fitness centers and movie theaters to reopen as part of Phase 4, instead they must remain closed through August 5.
“We feel the pain of those small business owners, and we are disappointed with the delay,” said Kathleen Abels, president of the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation. “Now, at least, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Barring a change, the governor’s Executive Order gives gyms, indoor fitness centers and movie theaters a projected reopening date of August 6.”
The same cannot be said for much of the rest of the country, 38 states are seeing large increases in infection rates. A travel advisory has now been expanded to 19 states, with travelers from Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma added to the list of those who must quarantine for 14 days when they come to New York State.
In New York, the Mid-Hudson region has been getting back to normal, or the new normal, since the first phase of the reopening started at the end of May. Over the past six weeks, jobs came back, restaurants opened — first for outdoor dining and then for indoor dining — and now low-risk entertainment is returning.
In Phase 4, colleges and other institutions of higher education can reopen, as can zoos, botanical gardens, nature parks, historic sites and cultural sites. Media production companies, including film, television, music and website producers, can also get back to business.
In addition to Putnam, the Mid-Hudson region includes Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties.
For help determining whether or not your business is eligible to reopen, use the state’s reopen lookup tool.
If you worked at or visited the deli counter at TOPS Friendly Markets
in Carmel, NY on
July 2 from 5:30am-10:30am
July 5 from 5:30am-8am
You may have been exposed to COVID-19.
Please watch for symptoms of COVID-19 which include fever, chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
Contact your physician with any concerns.
Please visit our website for testing information www.putnamcountyny.com/health/coronavirus/
If you have any questions, please contact the Putnam County Department of Health at 845-808-1390.
Putnam Area Rapid Transit (PART) “Putnam Moves” left the gate this morning at 5 am and service is restored to Public Transit for the four Fixed Routes, complimentary ParaTransit, and the Croton Falls Commuter Shuttle. The County will maintain its regular schedule found on the County website. Management was there to welcome the bus drivers in the early morning and mid-day shifts. It is terrific for the transit riders that service is restored and the dedicated team at MV Transit is happy to return to work.
Safety is Putnam County’s paramount consideration. The transit system will use different buses on different shifts and will be cleaned and sanitized after each shift to ensure public health and stop the spread of COVID19. All passengers and drivers are required to wear face masks when on board. Strict adherence to properly wearing the face mask is something that will be necessary, not just as a chin guard, but as a full mouth and nose cover. The safety team will periodically monitor and refuse service to all those who do not abide by the rules. Thank you to all who endured the inconvenience and realize if we follow the rules, we will beat the pandemic and remain healthy.
BREWSTER, NY— Phase III in Putnam and the Mid-Hudson region is upon us. The region is moving forward after 14 days of meeting the benchmark numbers required in current phase. As this stage gets into full swing residents can expect inside dining, larger gatherings, and personal care businesses coming back with some specified restrictions. Personal care businesses, beyond hair-related businesses, now will include tanning and nail salons, spas, massage therapy, and tattoo and piercing facilities. Along with inside dining, these new services will limit capacity to optimize social or physical distancing. Both will also require mask wearing by patrons and employees. These two practices, in addition to proper handwashing, remain the best avenues for public protection in all situations.
“We are happy to continue to move toward a more fully open economy,” said MaryEllen Odell, County Executive. “Our calculated approach to watching our health measures, combined with the ingenuity, patience and commitment of our business community, has really paid off for us. We continue to move forward in the right direction.”
The size of permissible gatherings has been increased from 10 to 25 which is good news for families planning reunions and other events, as well as small-party planners. For restaurants and personal care establishments however, which are expanding services or re-opening, the requirements dictate that indoor capacity be limited by 50 percent.
“The reductions in capacities have been determined with one goal in mind—to best protect both customers and employees,” said Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, Commissioner of Health. “Much planning and thought has gone into this phased opening and graduated guidelines at the state level. This is why Putnam and the Mid-Hudson region continue to move forward successfully. We are truly grateful for the support our Putnam businesses and community organizations have shown in implementing these involved guidelines.”
Employees of both types of establishments will be required to wear masks at all times when working. This is especially important any time they interact with customers, even if they are 6 feet or more apart. Restaurants can lose their liquor licenses if social distance requirements are not met. If patrons notice a lapse in social distancing practices while dining and feel uncomfortable, they are encouraged to consider politely informing the facility management. Making a complaint through official channels is also an option online at www.coronavirus.health.ny.gov/new-york-state-pause.
Customers are required to wear masks as well. Once seated at a table in a restaurant however, patrons can remove their masks to eat, similar to the requirements with outdoor dining. In the personal care sector, some services may also necessitate clients remove their masks. Staff will direct customers by following current state-approved guidelines. Modified schedules and services may be in place and calling ahead is advised. Reservations are encouraged so that businesses can be more prepared.
Other requirements have been developed to best ensure workers are healthy and remain that way. Restaurants are charged with conducting daily health screenings of their employees. This will include such things as temperature checks and questionnaires about symptoms, and for personal care workers COVID-19 tests will be required every 14 days.
The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services, provided directly and through collaboration, include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com/coronavirus; or visit our social media sites @PutnamHealthNY on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Restaurants are set to offer indoor dining and personal care businesses are preparing to open on Tuesday June 23, when the county is expected to enter Phase 3 of the state’s reopening schedule. “Team Putnam” is on hand to help businesses plan their restarts and adapt to new requirements.
“Since the very beginning of the pandemic, Putnam County has worked as a team to support Main Street businesses and to help them endure,” Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “Now we are taking a team approach to help businesses develop reopening plans that will help them thrive, keep our communities safe and encourage residents and visitors to shop Putnam.”
It’s a formidable team. In addition to County Executive Odell, the county Legislature and the Department of Health, the team includes several local business agencies. Deputy County Executive Thomas Feighery, will interface with The Putnam County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) to help businesses through this transition. The PCEDC’S new Small Business Advisory Committee offers a forum for small business owners to share concerns and ideas. The Putnam County Business Council and the county’s Industrial Development Agency are all on board, too, offering guidance, adaptable plans and Zoom webinars to help businesses navigate the new landscape.
“The best thing that the businesses can do in advance of reopening is make a plan and be prepared,” said Kathleen Abels, the President of PCEDC. “We can help with that. There are several new steps required and plenty of new guidelines to follow, so knowing in advance what you need to do is important. Business owners should check our website at putnamedc.org and contact us with questions.”
Phase 3, which includes reopening for nail salons, tattoo parlors and other personal care businesses in addition to indoor dining for food service establishments, is scheduled to begin Tuesday June 23 as long as the coronavirus infection rate in the Mid-Hudson region that includes Putnam does not increase.
Among the requirements for indoor restaurant seating are a maximum occupancy of 50 percent, not including staff, and tables placed six feet apart.
Tourism Director Tracey Walsh, whose work showcases all the venues that the county offers its residents, is an essential part of the team.
“Putnam residents are in a sweet spot,” Walsh said. “Their home county offers the kinds of activities that people everywhere now crave: safe, responsible, outdoor fun. With plenty of hiking, biking, golf, tennis and stunning natural beauty, the county is a great spot for residents to relax and take a staycation. It’s a good time to eat at your local restaurants, shop in your neighborhood stores and support your Main Street businesses.”
Visitors can start at the county’s tourism website, visitputnam.org.
The Putnam County Health Department, which led the way and helped curb the spread of coronavirus in our region, is part of the team and will continue to play a big role in keeping us healthy and preventing an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Putnam County began reopening on May 26, when construction, manufacturing, curbside retail, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting began. Phase 2 went into effect on June 9 and included Outdoor Dining, Professional Services (including hair salons & barbershops), Retail, Admin Support and Real Estate/Rental & Leasing.
But Putnam’s progress will depend on residents ongoing use of good judgment.
“We must all use common sense,” Odell said. “We must continue to exercise social distancing, wear masks and other PPE and wash our hands thoroughly and often. Anything less could increase local coronavirus numbers and lead to another PAUSE, and that’s the last thing any of us want.”
For more information, see the following useful links:
New York Forward (State Reopening Guidelines) – https://forward.ny.gov/
Food Service Reopening Guidelines – https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/Food_Services_Summary_Guidelines.pdf
Putnam County Economic Development Corporation – www.putnamedc.org
Putnam County Business Council – https://putnamcountybusinesscouncil.com/
Putnam County Industrial Development Agency – https://www.putnamcountyny.com/PutnamIDA/
Empire State Development – https://esd.ny.gov/
Putnam County Tourism Department – visitputnam.org
Deputy County Executive Thomas Feighery,
The Putnam County Golf Course got some high praise recently from golf experts who have rated some of the best courses in the world.
A team of four course raters from Golfweek Magazine came to play at Putnam on June 10 for the first time and said the course “should hold a higher ranking and position in the golf community than the well-kept secret that it is.”
Two of the course raters quickly emailed General Manager Mike McCall to commend the public course.
“I want to let you know how impressed our golf group was yesterday after playing Putnam County Golf Club,” Greg Wojick wrote. “All four of us are raters with Golfweek magazine and we get to see many facilities through our involvement in the rating process. It was by unanimous consensus that we praise not only the golf course and its architecture but also at how well the entire golf experience was for us.”
McCall, who has been General Manger of the Putnam County Golf Club since 2013, is also executive director of the Metropolitan Golf Course Superintendents Association, or MetGCSA. He said he was gratified by the course raters’ approval.
“They are raters in Connecticut and New York, they had never been here and they were looking for a place to play,” McCall said, describing how the group called him out of the blue and asked for a tee time. “I’ve always known that is a very well-conditioned golf course with a good design, but for people who have played the best courses in the world to come here and be so utterly flabbergasted, it is incredibly flattering. They just raved. They had a very, very enjoyable experience.”
Putnam County’s leadership deserves a lot of credit for the improvements that have been made in the course during his tenure, McCall said.
“Both the administration and Legislature have been incredibly supportive since day one,” he said. “They have recognized the potential of this asset and committed the financial resources to transform both the clubhouse and the golf course into the jewels they have become.”
The county owns the property and has helped the management team of McCall, appliedgolf and Homestyle Caterers turn it into a showcase, with renovations to the parking lot, banquet rooms, bunkers and green surrounds, bathrooms and much more. A few of the cart paths are now being repaired and roof and siding replacement is scheduled for this summer.
“We already knew our investments paid off in terms of providing a great resource for Putnam County residents, but to have the course recognized by outside golf experts shows that we’ve really turned the golf course into a gem that adds to Putnam’s quality of life,” Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “The beauty of the Putnam County Golf Course is that it is not just for golfers. It now hosts fabulous dinners, entertainment and music events that bring in families from across the region to enjoy this wonderful landscape.”
The Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac is less than an hour’s drive from New York City and lures golfers from all over the Hudson Valley and Connecticut. Golf is just one of many outdoor recreational activities that draw visitors to Putnam County, where hikers, bicycle riders and others are often surprised by the area’s natural beauty.
The course raters from Golfweek Magazine are among those who were surprised.
“We have been concentrating on Courses in the Metropolitan area this Spring that are accessible to the public,” Senior Golfweek Rater Bill Perlee wrote in an email to McCall on June 11. “Putnam was in the elite group we have stumbled upon. From conditioning, layout and enjoyment it surpassed all expectations and left a smile on all our faces.”
Like public golf courses throughout the state, Putnam County Golf Course is complying with all social distancing requirements. Reservations and pre-payment must be made online.
For the latest information, see the Putnam County Golf Course website: https://www.putnamcountygc.com/