Shawyn Patterson-Howard
3 min readMar 16, 2020

March 16, 2020 — The City of Mount Vernon has declared a State of Emergency effective immediately. Due to the spread of the coronavirus outbreak across the country, and there are grave concerns that the City of Mount Vernon is extremely vulnerable to the spread of Covid-19. As a result, we are taking the following steps during this State of Emergency:

1. We are strongly urging Mount Vernon residents to stay inside their home from 9pm-5am, excluding those who are traveling for work.

Personal care businesses such as beauty salons, makeup studios, barbershops, spas, massage parlors, and nail salons are ordered to close starting on Wednesday.

We are recommending all businesses that are not grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and gas stations to close their stores by 5pm starting Wednesday and going forth operate between 11am and 5pm.

As we monitor the outbreak, we may close all businesses excluding health care operations, grocery stores, shelters, media outlets, gas stations and banks.

Restaurants may remain open offering take-out/delivery options only, as recommended by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

2. City Hall operations will be extremely limited, as most staff will be re-assigned to assist with emergency issues and operations.

Our essential services departments, Police, Fire, Water, Public Works will operate at full service.

As of now the following departments will be closed and those individuals are reassigned to address constituent needs and assist the Incident Command Team: Youth Bureau, Recreation, Office of the Aging, Public Works (office only), Water Supply (office only), Law and Planning.

The Mayor’s Office, City Clerk, and Assessor will be open on a limited basis.

It is strongly encouraged that constituents call City Hall to ensure your concern can be addressed.

Upon visiting City Hall, you will be asked to enter via the Stevens Avenue entrance and sign in with the security professional. All other entrances will be locked to the public.

3. Parking meters will be suspended, but alternate side parking rules will be in effect

We are working with the school district to allow people to park at the following locations during alternate side parking hours only.

i. Graham Elementary School

ii. Traphagen Elementary School

iii. Holmes Elementary School

iv. Parker Elementary School

v. Hamilton Elementary School

vi. Columbus Elementary School

vii. Benjamin Turner Elementary School

The lack of a full-service hospital in the City of Mount Vernon, which has been operating at sub-standard levels, requires that we take such measures for the benefit of the residents in this community. Montefiore Mount Vernon has withdrawn services and plans to close the hospital, even though our city and this nation faces the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have called on our state officials to look at the comprehensive plan Montefiore has drafted for Mount Vernon hospital. We have also engaged the Governor’s office to invest resources into fully utilizing the available vacant space to install beds to address new cases of the coronavirus. Currently, our EMS partners are being diverted to neighboring hospital facilities that are already overcrowded.

The City of Mount Vernon is addressing the coronavirus outbreak as best as we can. The situation is fluid and changing as we receive direction from state and federal agencies. We must be prepared, and we will take the necessary actions to protect the City of Mount Vernon.



Shawyn Patterson-Howard

1st African American Woman Elected Mayor for the great City of Mount Vernon, NY.