Town Supervisor Peter Parsons declares local state of emergency.

Town Supervisor Peter Parsons on Thursday declared a local state of emergency for the Town of Lewisboro due to a steep increase in COVID-19 cases, which stood at 36 at the time of the order.

It was further ordered that masks must be worn at all times in most indoor spaces in town that are accessible to the public. Only patrons seated at restaurants and taverns in town are exempt from the mask order. Customers at grocery stores, pharmacies and other commercial establishments are required to wear masks.

Mr. Parsons said masks have been continuously required in the local government buildings. The newly issued order extends the mandate to all other indoor public spaces that are not exempt.

“I’m just trying to reduce the speed of growth of delta,” Mr. Parsons said, referring to the virus variant that is driving a jump in COVID-19 cases across the country.

The emergency order, which Mr. Parsons said had the support of the entire Lewisboro Town Board, is in effect for five days until Tuesday, Aug. 24.

According to the Lewisboro town clerk, Mr. Parsons declared the first local state of emergency due to the pandemic March 17, 2020. Prior to Thursday’s action, the most recent declaration took place July 8, 2020.

Mr. Parsons said he will continue to renew the current declaration for as long as needed, as he did with prior similar actions.

Mr. Parsons said the most effective way he can institute an indoor mask mandate was through exercising emergency powers under a local state of emergency. With local schools set to open in early September, Mr. Parsons said it was incumbent on local government to act.

“We have got to get our kids back to school,” Mr. Parsons said, adding that it was also critical for parents to be able to return to work.

In addition, Mr. Parsons said the declaration was particularly important for Lewisboro, as opposed to the neighboring towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, on account of the town’s close proximity to Ridgefield and Danbury, Connecticut, both of which have increasing virus cases.

Mr. Parsons said he expects similar declarations to continue to appear throughout the state, and, added that he would not be surprised if Lt. Gov. Kathleen Hochul introduced a similar mandate for the state, or at least for counties posing the greatest risk. Ms. Hochul is scheduled to take over the state’s executive role from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday, Aug. 24.

“I think it’s really important to get this done and try to stop it in its tracks,” Mr. Parsons said.

Lewisboro Police Chief David Alfano said Lewisboro officers will be going to each business in Lewisboro to explain the order and give handouts and a notice to be hung in the business’s entrance.

Jessica Leibman is a staff reporter at The Record-Review where she covers the Town of Lewisboro the Katonah-Lewisboro School District.

(2) comments


Confused as to why this article has a photo of the closed elementary school? Considering the context, does this suggest the common sense reopening of that shuttered school now, to allow for more social distancing in our KLSD elementary school's reopening? There was a vague excuse that the buildings were not up to Code for reopening, but when needed for Town meetings, they seemed perfectly safe and usable. Has that excuse been reevaluated as the focus is on reopening and keeping the kids in-person for learning with a growing Delta variant?


Have we considered the economic costs for local business? If we are the only town taking this action, at this time, there seem to be a possibility that this current emergency will hinder or harm local business. Are funds available to help local businesses offer "free" masks? An excellent mark of leadership is not only to make the bold decisions, but to stay around to support those that the decision may affect, one way or another. Having witnessed a local business turning away customers to go get a mask on, had me wonder if a few hundred bucks of the hundreds of thousands of federal/state emergency money could afford helping our local businesses with mask supplies.

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