Chemung County remains in Orange Zone for 11th week


ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Chemung County is reporting 200 active coronavirus cases as of Tuesday. The county has been in the orange zone for 11 weeks, restricting many businesses from fully operating.

Many residents are upset as surrounding counties continue to report higher COVID-19 cases daily.

“How you can have a county right next door and like you said, not throw anybody under the bus; but the fact of the matter is, if their seven day rolling average is higher than ours, how can we still can see we still be in orange zone,” said Christopher Moss, Chemung County Executive. “We don’t meet the criteria today to be put in orange zone, because the criteria changed on December 11. We’re in the orange zone under the initial criteria that was established October 23.”

On Dec 30, the county filed a petition with the NYS Supreme Court to relieve the orange zone restrictions put in place by New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo. Moss said he has not heard anything from the Governor regarding the lawsuit or removing restrictions.

“I mean that’s why we filed the lawsuit to ask the court to look at it and say look, every municipality across the state should be treated the same,” Moss said. “I haven’t heard anything from the governor’s office in reference to the orange zone. Obviously our numbers as a region are well. Our individual numbers should within Chemung County obviously could be a little bit better, but I’m not sure why the governor’s indicating that the orange zones are why we’re doing so good the Southern Tier. I wouldn’t agree with that.”

18 News reached out to the Governor’s office for comment on the restrictions and response to the petition but have not heard back.

Moss said the hearing for the petition will be Jan. 11.

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