News Ticker

Westchester Re-Opening Update

A Message From State Senator Shelley Mayer

This week, the New York State legislature was back in session for the first time since we adopted a budget for FY 2020-2021. Our focus this week was to address the many challenges that have arisen since the beginning of the Coronavirus Pandemic. We passed bills to extend the moratorium on utility shut-offs for those who have been financially impacted by the pandemic (S.8113A, Senator Parker); require state chartered banks to make applications for forbearance (payment relief) widely available to qualified mortgagors (S.8243C, Senator Kavanaugh); extend paratransit certifications through August and allow riders to refuse & reschedule shared rides without penalty (S.8119C, Senator Comrie); and expand what qualifies as telemedicine for purposes of reimbursement by including audio-only and video-only services (S.8416, Senator Metzger), among other measures.

REOPENING WESTCHESTER COUNTYCounty Executive George Latimer announced this week that over 145,000 Westchester residents have been tested for the coronavirus. This is over 14% of the entire county population and a great accomplishment. The Mid-Hudson Region, which includes Westchester County, is in control of all 7 metrics required to begin re-opening, and we are moving forward through Phase 1 of the re-opening process. I am including information in a section below to help small businesses navigate the re-opening requirements.

OUTDOOR GRADUATION CEREMONIES On Wednesday, May 27th, I spearheaded a letter with my Senate colleagues to Governor Andrew Cuomo urging that New York State permit outdoor, in-person graduation ceremonies in July. The letter states: “The high school graduating class of 2020 should be permitted to embrace their achievements, celebrate their successes and be fully recognized as they embark on the next chapter of their lives…We are confident a safe, carefully managed outdoor and in-person high school graduation can be achieved in New York, during the month of July, and under guidance set by the Department of Health. We urge you to find a way to allow this to happen.”Click here to read the full letter. Students have already sacrificed so much due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. High school graduation is a momentous milestone in their lives, and I am confident we can find a way to allow them to safely celebrate.

FREE COVID-19 TESTING IN PORT CHESTER: June 1st – June 4th Thanks to many colleagues in all areas of government and especially Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Governor Cuomo, we are able to bring free COVID-19 testing to Port Chester from June 1st to June 4th at Segunda Iglesia Pentecostal Juan 3:16, 58 Poningo Street, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Those interested in getting tested must call 1-833-422-7369 to make an appointment. Flyers in English and Spanish are available to share with community members.

FREE COVID-19 TESTING IN TUCKAHOE: June 4th & 5th Shiloh Baptist Church at 15 Marble Place in Tuckahoe will host a COVID-19 testing site on June 4th & 5th from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. You must schedule your appointment to be tested. For appointments from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM call Yolanda at 914-961-2664; for appointments from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM call Sarah at 347-495-9578. Health insurance will be accepted, but no one will be turned away.

FIRST IN A SERIES EDUCATION VIRTUAL TOWN HALL On Tuesday, June 2, from 6 to 7:30 PM, I will host a First in a Series Education Virtual Town Hall to discuss the successes, challenges, and lessons learned during a period of remote learning and to consider what September should look like for New York’s schoolchildren, families, teachers, staff and community.Featuring Special Guests:

  • Dr. Betty A. Rosa, Chancellor, NYS Board of Regents, 12th Judicial District
  • Dr. Frances G. Wills, Regent, 9th Judicial District
  • Dr. Robert Glass, Superintendent, Eastchester Union Free School District
  • Beth Sniffen, Region Director, Westchester-East Putnam PTA.
  • Joe Liberti, AP Government Teacher, Mamaroneck Public Schools
  • Rev. Stephen Lopez, President, Board of Trustees, Yonkers Public Schools

Click here for a flyer to share with interested friends and colleagues. The event will be interpreted in American Sign Language (ASL) and live-streamed on my Facebook page:

LOCAL MUNICIPAL UPDATES Municipalities throughout the 37th District has posted coronavirus information, resources, and local updates on their websites. I am including links to the updates and resources that have been posted on their websites in a section below. If we missed an important link, please email me and we will add it.

As always, feel free to contact my office at (914) 934-5250 or as we continue to assist constituents to receive unemployment insurance or clear up questions about the re-opening process.

Warm regards,
Shelley B. Mayer
State Senator
37th District


Businesses in each region of the state will re-open in phases. The Mid-Hudson Region, which includes Westchester County, is currently in Phase 1 of the re-opening process. Click here to read through the Industries Re-opening by Phase.

Phase One: (Opened in Westchester on Tuesday, May 26th)

  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
  • Retail – (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale Trade

Phase Two: (Not Open)

  • Professional Services
  • Retail
  • Administrative Support
  • Real Estate / Rental & Leasing

Phase Three: (Not Open)

  • Restaurants / Food Services

Phase Four: (Not Open)

  • Arts / Entertainment / Recreation
  • Education

Once we enter a phase when an industry is allowed to re-open, each individual business must read and affirm detailed guidelines for re-opening for its industry. The guidelines can be found here and are industry-specific.

Each business must also create a safety plan for re-opening specific to their industry and post the plan conspicuously on-site. Safety Plan Templates can be found by each industry section here.

General Steps to Re-opening a Business

Step #1: Read & affirm detailed guidelines for re-opening, found here.

Step #2: Create a safety plan for re-opening and post the plan conspicuously on-site. Templates for industry specific re-opening safety plans can be found here.

Step #3: Before opening, employers must provide, at no cost, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to employees i.e. face masks, hand gloves, etc.

Step #4: Once PPE is secured, employers must prohibit or limit the sharing of objects within the work space. This includes tools, cash registers, work stations, etc. Employers must try to isolate tools to specific workers or in the event that is not feasible, employees then must wear gloves, provided by the employer.

Step #5: To prepare your space for opening, employers must post visible and clear social distancing markers both in and outside their place of business, i.e. “this is 6 ft. apart” or “masks must be worn upon entry.”

Step #6: Businesses must prohibit Non-Essential Visitors within their work spaces. Non-essential visitors doesn’t mean prohibiting customers but limiting the amount of people who are not employees or patrons in and out of the building/office space.

Step #7: Once operational, employers must keep a log every day of everyone who enters the establishment including employees, customers, etc. This will be helpful and necessary for contact tracing. In addition to the log, employers must screen their employees daily for symptoms of COVID-19. Temperature taking is optional, but employers need to be aware if an employee is feeling symptomatic. In the event someone does test positive, the employer must immediately send that person home and notify the state.
If you need assistance determining whether or not your business is eligible to re-open, please use the NY Forward Business Reopen Look Up Tool.





If there’s an important link that this list is missing, email us to let us know at and we will include it.


About AJ Woodson (2375 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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