Following below is today’s public health update, just sent citywide via robocall.  I’ve also added a personal comment at the end of this post, which I encourage you to read.

This is Mayor Noam Bramson, with an update for today, March 26. Here’s what’s new:

The containment zone specific to New Rochelle has been lifted as of yesterday. However, statewide rules that limit gatherings and close non-essential businesses remain in effect here and throughout New York. We continue urging all residents to stay home and practice personal distancing to the greatest degree possible.

By now, you should have received your Census invitation in the mail. Even in the middle of a pandemic, the Census is important and a reminder that we all count. Since most of us are staying close to home anyway, this is a good time to fill out your Census, either online or by phone.

As reported previously, alternate side of the street parking restrictions are suspended citywide until further notice, and metered parking remains free.

Additional information, including updates from prior messages, is always available at newrochelleny.com/coronavirus, and you can press 1 to learn how to receive this message in Spanish.

Thank you to the many organizations and individuals throughout New Rochelle who are meeting this unprecedented challenge with strength, calm, and support for all of our neighbors. We can be proud that New Rochelle is setting a positive example for communities everywhere.

Now for my personal comment:

The lifting of the New Rochelle containment zone has stimulated a public and media discussion about whether the early restrictions implemented here in our city were effective.  The preliminary data are encouraging: with each passing day, New Rochelle accounts for a smaller share of COVID-19 cases in the region, and there is reason to be hopeful that the rate of spread in our community has moderated.  Having been thrust into the national spotlight, the people of New Rochelle can now take some satisfaction and even pride in confronting the early stage of this challenge well.  But I advise strongly against premature celebration.  The municipally-aggregated totals are filled with uncertainties, can be interpreted in multiple ways, and lag behind the statewide count.  Furthermore, even if our rate of increase in slowing, confirmed positive cases continue to rise.  Optimism should be carefully tempered by caution, and by our clear understanding that a long road remains ahead.

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