March 20,  2020

Updates/Cancellations/Postponements

On COVID-19

 

 

• The Grahamsville Rod and Gun Club Meeting scheduled for April 2, 2020 has been cancelled.

 

• Sullivan County Confirms Six New Cases of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus)

Monticello, NY – Sullivan County Public Health Director Nancy McGraw announced today that more cases of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) have been confirmed in the County.

“Six people in Sullivan County tested positive today, bringing our confirmed-case total to 12,” said McGraw. “Per protocol, they are isolating, and our staff are in the process of determining if there were any additional exposures.”

“We do expect cases to increase due to further testing,” she added. “But you can help keep yourself safe by following the guidance issued by our office, the State and the Federal government.”

Please remember to actively protect yourself against COVID-19 transmission via social distancing and frequent handwashing with soap and water. For more information on the virus and local updates, visit www.sullivanny.us/departments/publichealth/coronavirus.

 

Sullivan County Opening Emergency Assistance Center

County Government Reducing On-Site Staff, Per Governor's Orders

Monticello, NY – In an effort to aid the most vulnerable populations, Sullivan County is opened an Emergency Community Assistance Center on Friday, March 20.

                  “Our Public Health Services call line has been inundated with requests for help and information, and this new Assistance Center will ensure those who are unable to leave their homes can receive the assistance they need,” explained County Manager Joshua Potosek. “At the same time, the Center will field calls from those seeking to offer help and connect them with the right people and locations.”

            Staff  and volunteers – led by Community Resources Commissioner Laura Quigley – will begin accepting calls at 845-807-0925. Assistance will be prioritized to senior citizens, the physically disabled, and others unable to shop for food, medicine and other necessities. (Callers with health questions or other concerns should continue to dial Public Health Services' hotline at 845-292-5910.)

            The Assistance Center operators will also welcome those who are seeking to offer time, money, goods or services to people and organizations in need.

County Government Reducing On-Site Staffing

            In order to comply with Governor Andrew Cuomo's directive that on-site staffing be reduced to 25% of normal, the following Sullivan County government offices will be closed, with staff working from home: Assigned Counsel; Family Services Legal; Parks, Recreation & Beautification; and the Youth Bureau. Calls and emals will continue to be taken, however.

            The Department of Community Services in Liberty will be providing some on-site services by appointment only for assessments and medication administration, in order to aid social distancing. Beginning March 23, hours of operation will be Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. They will be conducting individual therapy sessions via phone and all groups through a teleconference process. They will be calling in medications for persons as needed. Questions welcomed at 845-292-8770.

            The Division of Public Works will take advantage of the emptier offices to undertake cleaning and disinfecting.

Office for the Aging Temporarily Limiting Services

The Sullivan County Office for the Aging has implemented the following measures to help control the spread of coronavirus:

Š        Congregate nutrition sites that have been currently providing pick-up only meals are to be closed as of Friday. Those who need meals delivered are being identified and contacted.

Š        The Office itself is closed to walk-in appointments, with limited staff available to help by appointment only. Phone calls are encouraged: 845-807-0241.

Š        The Shopping Bus will be ending this week until further notice. Those individuals who use the bus will be contacted for other arrangements to make sure that everyone gets what they need

“While we are always here to help, we strongly encourage people to reach out to their family, friends and neighbors to see how they can help our most vulnerable seniors, who are strongly advised to stay home to limit exposure,” said Office for the Aging Director Lise-Anne Deoul. “We want to encourage individuals that have informal supports in place to utilize those to enable our resources to be used by those who need them most.”

 

Legislature Approves Epidemiologist and Community Health Coordinator

The Sullivan County Legislature met in emergency session today to allow Public Health Director Nancy McGraw to immediately search for and hire an epidemiologist and a community health coordinator.

“These positions, when filled, will allow us to more nimbly respond to the many demands being placed on us in the midst of this pandemic,” McGraw stated. “I thank the Legislature for their nimble response, as well!”

County Museum Closed, But You Can Still Peek Inside

In order to protect staff, volunteers and the public, the Sullivan County Museum and Cultural Center in Hurleyville is currently closed.

However, the Sullivan County Historical Society has made available online photos from the current BOCES Elementary School Art Exhibit. You can view it by visiting www.facebook.com/scnyhistory.

Postponements and Cancellations

The March 31 informational session for first-time homebuyer assistance, scheduled by the Sullivan County Division of Planning and RUPCO, Inc., has been cancelled. A new date will be announced in the future.

The Civil Service examinations scheduled for March 28 have been postponed. All candidates will be notifyed of an alternate test date.

 

 

 

Legislature Chairman David B. Donaldson

Rearranges Legislative Schedule

Kingston, NY- David Donaldson, Chairman of the Ulster County Legislature, announced today that he will be rearranging the March and April Legislative schedule to allow the county workforce and members of the public to adjust to video and phone meeting attendance and provide the County Executive's Office with some breathing room and additional time to prepare paperwork while simultaneously dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

            “I have to say, first and foremost, that Legislative staff, and the entire county workforce is doing an amazing job in the midst of school closures, Social Distancing protocols and the many other challenges we are all facing right now,” Chairman Donaldson stated. “We are still open for business and ready, willing and able to provide the best service to the residents of Ulster County. With that said, it is imperative that we conduct the peoples' business in the safest possible way,” he continued.

In addition, the Chairman recognizes that the County Executive and his staff are doing a tremendous job, working around the clock to best protect the residents of Ulster County during this unprecedented situation. “The work that is done by department heads and staff throughout the County to prepare contracts and resolution information in line with Legislative deadlines is a big job,” Chairman Donaldson commented. “It is the least we can do to give them a little extra time while they figure out how to balance their regular job responsibilities with managing this crisis,” he continued. “We are all trying to comply with the state's workforce reduction mandates while continuing to keep Ulster County residents safe and informed. I think it makes the most sense, and is a relatively easy thing, to alter schedules,” he concluded.

            The Legislative calendar will be pushed back at least one week during which time there will be evaluation, testing, and implementation of a system which will allow Legislators to attend meetings via video and/or telephone while providing public access and compliance with the state's adjusted Open Meetings Law.

            “Basically, we're just moving things around a bit to give everyone a second to take a deep breath, get refocused, continue working and, most importantly, do it in a way that helps keep county employees, their families, and Ulster County residents safe and healthy during this difficult time,” Chairman Donaldson said.

            Resolutions for consideration at the April Legislative Session are now due by 12 noon on Friday, April 3rd. The Legislature's Standing Committees will now hold meetings beginning the week of April 13th with the April Regular Legislative Session moved to Tuesday, April 28th.

            Members of the public are strongly encouraged to check the Legislative Calendar for the most updated schedule. The Calendar can be accessed by typing the following URL into any web browser:

https://www.calendarwiz.com/calendars/calendar.php?crd=uccalendar&

 

 

 

•  GOVERNOR CUOMO SIGNS THE 'NEW YORK STATE ON PAUSE' EXECUTIVE ORDER

 

10-Point Policy that Assures Uniform Safety for Everyone

 

100% Closure of Non-Essential Businesses Statewide, Effective 8pm Sunday — Exceptions Made For Essential Services Such as Groceries and Healthcare

 

"Matilda's Law" Will Provide New Protections for Most Vulnerable Populations - New Yorkers Age 70 and Older, People with Compromised Immune Systems and Those With Underlying Illnesses 

Directs 90-Day Moratorium on Any Residential or Commercial Evictions 

Asks PPE Product Providers to Sell Non-Essential Products to the State and Encourages Companies to Begin Manufacturing PPE Products 

Confirms 2,950 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 7,102; New Cases in 23 Counties

Governor Cuomo: "We need everyone to be safe. Otherwise no one can be safe." 

Cuomo: "These provisions will be enforced. These are not helpful hints. This is not if you really want to be a great citizen. These are legal provisions. They will be enforced."

            Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he is signing the "New York State on PAUSE" executive order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone. It includes a new directive that all non-essential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22, and temporarily bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason.

            Governor Cuomo also announced "Matilda's Law" - named for the Governor's mother - to protect New York's most vulnerable populations, including individuals age 70 and older, those with compromised immune systems and those with underlying illnesses. The measure requires this group of New Yorkers to stay home and limit home visitation to immediate family members or close friends in need of emergency assistance. If it is necessary to visit such individuals, the visitor should get prescreened by taking temperature and seeing if person is exhibiting other flu-like symptoms. Both individuals should wear a mask for the duration of the visits

            The Governor also announced a 90-day moratorium on any residential or commercial evictions.

            Additionally, amid a shortage of personal protective equipment — or PPE — products in the state, including gloves, masks and gowns, the Governor is asking all PPE product providers to sell to the state any products that are not essential or not currently being used. Businesses interested in selling products to the state should contact Simonida Subotic at 646-522-8477 or covid19supplies@exec.ny.gov.

            The Governor is also encouraging any company with the proper equipment or personnel to begin to manufacture PPE products if possible. The state is willing to provide funding to any company to obtain the proper equipment and personnel. Businesses interested in receiving state funding to manufacture PPE products should contact Eric Gertler at 212-803-3100 or COVID19supplies@esd.ny.gov.

 

VIDEO of the Governor's remarks is available on YouTube            

 A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:

 

                        Happy Friday, it is almost time for the weekend. Is there a weekend if you did not work during the week? Let me introduce who we have here today starting at the far left, James Malatras who everybody knows, Budget Director Rob Mujica, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, Dr. Howard Zucker from the Health Department and General Patrick Murphy. We call him General Patrick Murphy.

            General Patrick Murphy was in charge of our National Guard for many years and did an outstanding job. I have been with him in many emergency situations over the years. He is a man who leads from the front, so he is my type of leader. He had so much fun that he retired and then he came and joined us as Commissioner of Homeland Security.    

            This team and the team that is working on this, New Yorkers should have total confidence because they have done it before. They have been in this situation, not this exact situation, but they have handled emergencies and they have handled them all pretty well, so they are proven.

            Let's go through this for an update on where we are today. Overview of the system, everybody knows what we are dealing with. It is preventing an overload of the healthcare system. So the number of acute cases that are coming into the health care system, the growth in the number of acute cases must match the capacity of the healthcare system and that is what we have been working on. We watched the rate of hospitalizations. We watched the rate of ICU hospitalizations, even more closely. The difference between how many beds you need versus how many ICU beds. And the real focal point, the rate of ventilated patients because that goes to the number of ventilators as we have been discussing. So, those are the three most critical points.

            We need more beds. We have been saying that. We know that. We have been working on it. There was a discussion with all the hospitals across the State of New York today. There is about a 50,000 bed capacity that has to be increased. It has to be increased in the existing hospitals. We are planning to cancel all non-critical elective surgeries. By definition elective surgeries can be done at a different time and now is the time not to do that. We have informed the hospitals of that. We are going to set a date probably next week for that. That will free up between 25-35% of the existing hospital beds. We have also instructed all of the hospitals to maximize capacity. We want to know from each hospital how many beds can you get in your hospital? We are waiving the Department of Health and DFS regulations about space, etc. This would be for a term emergency basis. But we want a plan from every hospital. If you use every available space, how many beds can you get in the hospital? And we started that a few weeks ago and that is now coming to a critical point.

            With the more beds you need more staff, so we are going to nursing schools, medical schools, asking retired doctors and nurses to come back into surface. Supplies are a major issue - PPE, gloves, gowns, masks, suppliers. I am now asking all product providers, all companies who are in this business, we will pay a premium for these products. If you are a business that does not manufacture these exact items, but you have equipment and personnel and you believe you could manufacture these items, they are not complicated, a mask is not a complicated item to make. A PPE gown is not a complicated item to make. Gloves, are not a complicated item. If you can make them, we will give you funding to do it and we will give you funding to get the right equipment, to get the right personnel, etc.  

            I am asking businesses to be creative. I am even looking on the State side. As you know, we went into the hand sanitizer business which we are now increasing by the way. We have opened additional hand sanitizer manufacturing areas. But I have also spoken to the State facilities that make uniforms. If you can make a uniform, why can't you make a mask? And we are researching that.

            But it is that kind of creativity that we need from businesses. I can't mandate that businesses make something, but I can offer financial incentives and that is what we are doing. Any business that is interested should contact Empire State Development. They will get on it right away. Eric Gertler is the head of that. Any company that wants to sell product should contact my office, the Chamber, Simonida Subotic at that number. There are also a number of companies that have masks. Goldman Sachs donate 100,000 masks to the State of New York and I want to thank them. But if you have masks, offices that are non-essential right now. There are dentist's offices that are closed. There are clinics that are closed. We need those masks, those gowns, gloves and we need them now.

            In terms of building more beds, as I have said we had the Army Corps of Engineers here and we are working with them. There is Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, who is really top professional. Ironically, I worked with him when I was at HUD building housing on Native American reservations at the Pine Ridge Reservation. So, he has been at the Corps a long time. He is top shelf.

            We're looking at a possible number of locations for large, temporary facilities - Javits Center, number of CUNY sites, number of SUNY sites, St. Johns University wants to be helpful, Fordham University, so we're looking at all these sites and they're all under analysis, where do we have the space, where can we get up a temporary facility, how quickly?

            It's ventilators, ventilators, ventilators. That is the greatest need. We're notifying any health department in the state, if you have a ventilator and you are not using it at this time or it's non-essential for your use, we want it. If you are a regulated health facility we are asking you by order of the Department of Health to make that ventilator available. We will purchase it from you. You could lend it to us but we need ventilators and anyone who has them now please call the New York State Department of health at that number. Again, there are a lot of medical offices that have ventilators that are not operational now and they're just in the corner of the office.

            We need those ventilators. The ventilators are to this war what missiles were to World War II? Right? Rosie the Riveter? We need ventilators. That is a key piece of equipment. We can get the beds. We'll get the supplies. But a ventilator is a specific piece of equipment. These are people with a respiratory illness. We need the ventilators.

            The number one opportunity to make a difference here is to flatten the curve, flatten the increase in the number of cases like we've talked about, flatten the increase of the number of cases coming into the hospital system. The best way to do that is by reducing density - density control, density control valve, right? That's what we have been doing all along. We're going to take it to the ultimate step which is we're going to close the valve. All right? Because the rate of increase in the number of cases portends a total overwhelming of our hospital system.

            So we're going to put out an Executive Order today. New York State on pause. Policies that assure uniform safety for everyone. Uniform safety for everyone. Why? Because what I do will affect you and what you do will affect me. Talk about community and interconnection and interdependence. This is the very realistic embodiment of that.

            We need everyone to be safe. Otherwise no one can be safe.

            We've studied all the other countries. We've talked to people all across the globe about what they did, what they've done, what worked, what doesn't work, and that has all informed this policy.

            Two basic rules: only essential businesses will be functioning. People who can work at home, God bless you. But only essential businesses can have workers commuting to the job or on the job.

            Second rule: remain indoors to the greatest extent to protect physical and mental health. On the businesses, on the valve, we reduced it to 50 percent of the workforce. We then reduced it to 75 percent of the workforce must stay home and today we're bringing it to 100 percent of the workforce must stay home.

 

            These are non-essential services. Essential services have to continue to function. Grocery stores need food, pharmacies need drugs, your Internet has to continue to work, the water has to run on when you turn the faucet. So there are essential services that will continue to function but 100 percent of the workforce. When I talk about the most drastic we can take this is the most drastic action we can take.           

            We also have specific rules for people's conduct. First is for what we call the quote on quote vulnerable population, and remember many people will get this disease. Different countries estimate 70, 80 percent of the population. People will get it, people will recover, that's what's going to happen for the vast majority. That's what's happening in this state for the vast majority. Who are we worried about? Seniors, compromised immune system, people with underlying illnesses. Where are the places we're really worried about? Nursing homes, senior congregate facilities.

            We need real diligence with vulnerable populations and there's been a lot of confusion and a lot of different theories and a lot of mixed information. I've gone through it myself with my own family. As I said we have my mother who lives alone. Everybody wants to help and we've gone back and forth. Who should go visit mom? Should mom go to my sister's house? Should mom go to this house? Nobody knows for sure. I asked Commissioner Zucker speak to every health official, get the best rules to protect our senior citizens and people with vulnerable populations and that's what these rules are.

            Remain indoors, go outside for solitary exercise. Pre-screen all visitors and aides. Don't visit households with multiple people. Don't go to your daughters house. Mom doesn't want to be alone - I understand, but you bring her into your house and you have 10 people there and they're coming in and out and your daughters have friends. That is a mistake. That is a mistake. Well we're going to go visit mom, I'm going to bring the whole family to see mom. Umm..no. Not now. A vulnerable person should wear a mask when in the company of others. To the greatest extent, everyone in the presence of a vulnerable person should wear a mask. They shouldn't be on public transportation unless it is urgent and absolutely necessary.

            Well what does that mean? It means urgent and absolutely necessary. It means what the word says. I call it Matilda's Law. My mother's name is Matilda. Everybody's mother, father, sister, friend in a vulnerable population - this is about protecting them. Protecting them. What you do, what you do highly, highly effects their health and well being. The instinct to love - I want to be with them. I want my kids. Mom wants to see the kids. Be smart. My mother and your mother.

            For non-vulnerable populations, these are the rules. No non-essential gatherings. Any concentration of individuals is because you're an essential business and an essential workforce. When in public, social distancing at least 6 feet. Outdoor recreation is a solitary recreational exercise. It's running, it's hiking. It's not playing basketball with 5 other people. That's not what it is. It's not laying in a park with 10 other people and sharing a beer. That's not what this is. There are people and places in New York City where it looks like life as usual. No. This is not life as usual and accept it and realize it and deal with it.

 

Sick individuals should not leave their home unless to receive medical care, et cetera. Young people need to practice social distancing. Avoid contact with vulnerable populations. Precautionary alcohol wipes. We talk a lot about hand sanitizer. Since I went in to the hand sanitizer business I'm a semi-expert on hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is alcohol. That's what it is. If you can't get hand sanitizer, get a bottle of alcohol, pour it on wipes, paper towels, that's an alcohol wipe. Hand sanitizer now, according to the CDC, has to be over 60 percent alcohol to be effective.       

            These provisions will be enforced. These are not helpful hints. This is not if you really want to be a great citizen. These are legal provisions. They will be enforced. There will be a civil fine and mandatory closure for any business that is not in compliance. Again, your actions can effect my health. That's where we are. So there is a social compact that we have. Government makes sure society is safe for everyone. What you do can effect my health. There's some bad information, especially among young people, if you look at some of these videos that are going around on some of these newscasts on what young people are saying. "I can't get it" Yeah, that's wrong. That is wrong. Well, young people can't get it - that is wrong. That is not a factual statement.

            Twenty percent of coronavirus cases, according to CDC, ages 20-44, okay. France, more than 50 percent of patients in ICU under 60-years-old. You can get it. Well I can't transmit it if I'm not symptomatic. No, you can transmit it if you're not symptomatic. And even if you're young and strong and everybody is superman, superwoman, I can deal with it. Oh yeah? You can give it to your grandparent, you can give it to your parent and you can put somebody else's life in danger. So, just factually a lot of these premises are wrong.    

            This is nothing that people don't know. It's nothing we haven't been talking about. But we have to do it. And we have to be serious and again, it is a government responsibility. Everyone has personal freedom, everyone has personal liberty and I'll always respect that and I'll always protect that, but everyone also has a responsibility to everyone else. And this is a specific case of that.

            I believe in regional actions, none of these policies work unless the geographic area is an area that works. I have spoken to the Governor of New Jersey, Governor of Connecticut about the actions that we're taking today. I'm going to speak with them later this afternoon. We have been coordinating to the greatest extent possible. And they're going to be considering these policies, which again, are very dramatic and I said I would like to do it coordination. I understand we have somewhat of a different circumstance in New York, but they are considering it. We have added Pennsylvania and Delaware to the states we're working with. And again, you can have businesses in New Jersey, if they don't close then their workers are driving into New York. Businesses in Connecticut stay open, you need New Yorkers to drive up to those businesses. So, regional action is the best. We're talking. I'll speak with them later today.

 

            The number of cases and you can see why we've taken these dramatic actions. Total positive up to 7,000; 2,900 new positive cases. Now I've told you in the past that the number of cases is relative to the number of tests. I've also said that New York has been very aggressive about increasing our number of tests. We went to the federal government, we asked for the authority to allow the state to run the tests as opposed to waiting for the federal government. The President granted us that ability. I ramped up all the labs in our state. We opened drive-thru all across the state. We have the testing so high in New York right now that we are testing per-capita more than China or South Korea, okay? And China and South Korea obviously had a much longer time to ramp up. So, we have done a great job at ramping up the number of tests, but when you ramp up the number of tests you are going to get more positive cases.         

            "Well, now we are more worried." No, because it was the reality. The test are just demonstrating what was. And again, if we could do more tests, you would find more positives, and finding positives is a good thing because we can isolate and we can track back. The number of counties continues to increase and it will until that entire state is blue. Blue is not a political statement by the way, it's just blue versus yellow. New York now has 7,000 cases - that compares to State of Washington that has 1,000, California that has 1,000 and change. So you can see that New York is in a dramatically different position, and you can see why we're taking these actions. Now, again, New York may very well be testing at a multiple of the other states. So does New York necessarily have 7 times more people who are infected than California? You don't know. You know that we are doing more tests per capita, but you don't know what the actual infection rate is. In total, we have tested 32,000 people - we did 10,000 tests last night. I had said last week that we had hoped to get to 6,000 tests - we've gotten to 10,000 tests which again I'm very proud of the operation but again that's why you see the number going up. The rate of hospitalization, watch this number, it's 18 percent, 1,200 out of 7,100. Again, overall perspective, look at the Johns Hopkins numbers - people will get sick, people will resolve. You look at our cases, the first case we had, first healthcare worker, that case she was never hospitalized, she stayed home and she now tests negative. That's what's going to happen with 80 percent of the people.

            So why is New York taking these dramatic actions? We know from past history that what a locality does matters. The 1918 Spanish flu which also reminds us that this has happened before in society, right? This tendency to think, oh this is something new, it's a science fiction movie. Yeah, well in 1918 they had a flu epidemic, but St. Louis took one course of action, Philadelphia took another course of action, and it made a dramatic difference in the number of people that died. What government did at that moment made a dramatic difference. And not nationally. Locally.

            Yes, New York has the tightest controls in the country. You look at those numbers and you understand why. Look at the increase in the number of cases. Sixteen days ago we were at zero. Today we are at 2,900. Those numbers are why we are taking these actions. Just increase that curve and you will see it more than doubles our healthcare system capacity. It more than triples the number of ICU beds with ventilators that we could possibly arrange. That's why we're taking these actions.

            These actions will cause disruption. They will cause businesses to close. They'll cause employees to stay at home. I understand that. They will cause much unhappiness. I understand that also. I've spoken to my colleagues around the state, the elected officials. I've spoken to business leaders. There's a spectrum of opinion. Some people say that we don't need to do this, it's going to hurt the economy. I understand that. Some people want to make it clear that they are disassociated from these actions. I understand that. And just so we're all clear, this is a statewide order. It's not what your county executive is doing, it's not what your mayor is doing, it's not what anyone else but me is doing. And I accept full responsibility. If someone is unhappy, somebody wants to blame someone, people complain about someone, blame me. There is no one else who is responsible for this decision.

            I've been in public service for many years on every level of public service. I've managed dozens of emergencies. The philosophy that's always worked for me is prepare for the worst, hope for the best. That's what we're doing here. When we look back at this situation ten years from now, I want to be able to say to the people of New York I did everything we could do. I did everything we could do. This is about saving lives and if everything we do saves just one life, I'll be happy.

            Last point I'd also like people to think about, and I don't have an answer for this and it's not what I do, but the isolation that people are feeling and the mental health consequences of what we are doing. When we quarantined people, we quarantined about 10,000 people, 14 days you have to stay at home, and I spoke to many of them and what they would say is physically, operationally it was difficult. But most of all they would all talk about the sense of isolation and the feeling of isolation and not having human contact and how difficult that was. I, as you know, had my daughter who was in isolation and I was very aware of what she was dealing and what she was feeling. And I'll tell you the truth, I had some of the best conversations with her that I have ever had. She was alone for two weeks with her own thoughts, not talking to anyone else, no noise, no activity, and we talked about things in depth that we didn't have time to talk about in the past or that we didn't have the courage or the strength to talk about in the past. Feelings that I had about mistakes that I had made along the way that I wanted to express my regret I talked through with her. People are in a small apartment, they're in a house, they're worried, they're anxious. Just be mindful of that. Those three word sentences can make all the difference. I miss you, I love you, I'm thinking of you, I wish I was there with you, I'm sorry you're going through this, I'm sorry we're going through this. That's going to be a situation that's going to develop because we're all in quarantine now. I mean, think about it, we're all in various levels of quarantine. It's hard. It's hard economically, it's hard everywhere, but it's going to be hard here. It takes each of us to try to help with that.

 

            Last announcement. With all that's going on I want to protect the people of the state of New York as much as I can. I'm going to stop any evictions of any residential or commercial tenants for 90 days. There'll be a moratorium on evictions, residential or commercial, for 90 days. I understand that may affect businesses negatively and I've spoken to a number of them. I don't know who you think you're going to rent an apartment to now anyway if you kick someone out. By my mandate, you couldn't even have your real estate agent out showing the apartment. Same with the commercial tenants. But I know that we're going to put people out of work with what I did. I want to make sure I don't put them out of their house.

    Back to The Townsman Legacy

 

March 19, 2020

 

A Message to Our Downstate Friends, Visitors, Weekenders and Second Homeowners

Liberty, NY – Sullivan County Public Health Director Nancy McGraw and Sullivan County Manager Joshua Potosek jointly issued the following statement today:

“Sullivan County currently has multiple cases of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) and is responding as aggressively and proactively as its limited resources allow. While you may be seeking refuge from the larger amount of cases downstate, you must be aware that this is a global pandemic. You and your family have a critical role to fulfill in halting the rapid spread of this potentially deadly virus, which can be dangerous and even fatal to the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.

Coronavirus has killed thousands of people worldwide in just the past month, and cases continue to grow. The novel coronavirus pandemic has impacted New York State, which is responding with all resources to contain a growing number of cases, which included 2,480 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 16 deaths as of midday March 18. Sullivan County has several confirmed cases, and the number of potential exposures is increasing, requiring a great deal of resources by Public Health and other government personnel to contain and limit further transmission.

A vaccine does not yet exist, and the effectiveness of existing treatment varies from person to person. Travel into Sullivan County from any area at this time is inadvisable and is highly discouraged. But if you do make your way here, you are expected to adhere to the following:

•          Please DO wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water. Make sure your family does this, as well. If soap is not available, use hand sanitizer.

•          Please DO cough and sneeze into a tissue or your arm, then wash your hands. Avoid touching your face.

•          Please DO maintain calm. Panicked hysteria or angry responses will make things worse, not better.

•          Please DO limit social activities to your family only. This includes all activities involving contact with other persons outside of the home.

•          Please DO enjoy the outdoors, but maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people.

•          Please DO, if you or a family member have a fever, persistent cough or shortness of breath, isolate yourself or them and call your healthcare provider.

•          Please DON'T travel here from another county or geographic area (including the five boroughs of New York City) which is experiencing community transmission of COVID-19. It is far better for you to stay home and limit your movements. 

•          Please DON'T have an expectation that resources will be available to you here that are not available to you in your home town. Sullivan County has a limited number of healthcare resources, and testing capacity is also very limited.

•          Please DON'T violate the Executive Order issued by the Governor of New York State.  Congregations of more than 50 persons are a direct violation of this Order and will be prosecuted. Should large numbers of individuals move up to Sullivan County while COVID-19 community transmission is occurring, it will quickly overwhelm the healthcare, public health, public safety and government. Help may not be available to you if you become in need of medical attention.

•          Please DON'T call Sullivan County Public Health Services. If it is a life-threatening emergency, dial 911. Otherwise, contact the State Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065, call your own healthcare provider with questions, or use the links provided below.

•          Please DON'T constantly go out in public spaces. If you haven't brought with you everything you need for your stay, get the remaining items in one shopping trip and then stay close to your property.

•          Please DON'T go to unnecessary appointments.

•          Please DON'T utilize local healthcare providers unless you absolutely have to. They are deeply impacted by this current crisis and cannot be expected to handle an enormous increase in patient requests. Your own healthcare provider is your best choice.

•          Please DON'T go to the hospital or doctor's office without calling first – in ANY situation, sick or not. Access to healthcare facilities is heavily restricted due to the pandemic, in order to limit continued spread of coronavirus.

•          Please DON'T hug, kiss or otherwise touch anyone who is not your immediate family. Personal contact is a major way this disease spreads.

 

For comprehensive information, visit www.coronavirus.health.ny.gov. For official Sullivan County information, visit www.sullivanny.us/departments/publichealth/coronavirus.”

 ________________________________________________________________

Metzger and Senate Seek Relief for Workers and Small Businesses

Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic Containment


Albany, NY…Today the State Senate passed legislation (S8091) ensuring employees in New York State will be able to access paid leave if they are subject to a mandatory or precautionary quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The Senate bill also waives the seven-day waiting period before New Yorkers can apply for unemployment insurance. 


“This legislation will provide critical relief to New York workers and slow transmission of the virus while protecting small businesses from incurring additional costs in this difficult time,” said Senator Jen Metzger. "People should not have to choose between putting food on the table and taking the necessary precautions to protect public health. This bill makes sure that those who must self-quarantine will continue to have the security of a paycheck." 


The bill provides for paid leave of up to 14 days for employees subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation. For small businesses with ten or fewer employees, the costs of paid leave would be fully covered by the state's paid family leave and temporary disability insurance programs. Businesses with between 11 and 99 employees would be responsible for five days of paid leave, with the balance covered by the two state programs. Employers with 100 or more employees, along with government institutions, would be responsible for the cost of paid leave for the duration of the two-week required quarantine or isolation period.


In addition to today's bill passage, Senator Metzger is also advancing the following initiatives to help small businesses:


Š       Calls on Governor to delay the sales tax deadline and provide small businesses with need relief


Senator Metzger has signed on to a letter with Senate colleagues urging Governor Cuomo to delay sales tax revenue collection for small businesses scheduled for this Friday, March 20.


“It's unreasonable to require small businesses to submit sales tax revenue this week as they are struggling with the impacts of this public health crisis," said Senator Metzger. “We urge the Governor to accept the State Comptroller's recommendation to delay sales tax revenue collection without penalty, and give our small businesses the breathing room they need." 


Š       Co-sponsors bill to create an emergency small business loan program


Metzger co-sponsors a new bill (S2520C) to help small businesses and not-for-profits weather the economic and financial impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. The bill creates a loan program that would allow eligible financial institutions to make zero-interest loans to small businesses and non-profit organizations of up to $50,000 thousand. Repayment would not begin until at least 90 days after the state of emergency ends. 


“Many small businesses and non-profits such as daycares are experiencing steep declines in profits and revenues, putting their businesses in jeopardy," said Senator Metzger. "These funds can help them pay such costs as rent and utilities, and provide a bridge to expected federal assistance programs." 


Senator Metzger's district offices continue to assist constituents with COVID-19-related issues, and are providing regular updates on state, federal, and local actions to address this public health emergency. Constituents can sign up to receive emails by going to web address bit.ly/jen-news.

 

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Legislator Lynn Archer recognizes potential severe economic impact of COVID-19 and holds off vote on bed tax increase

 

Resolution No. 101, a Request to NYS to Increase the Hotel and Motel Room Occupancy Tax Rate in Ulster County, has been Withdrawn

 

KINGSTON, NY—Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman, Legislator Lynn Archer, announced yesterday in committee that she has withdrawn Resolution 101.

Legislator Archer states, “Given the uncertainty of the current health crisis and the economic impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on businesses throughout Ulster County, Resolution 101 will be withdrawn and discussed at a later date."


“Although it is important for Ulster County to discuss, vet and consider this legislation in the future, it is most important for us to focus our time on full assessment and understanding of the far-reaching economic impacts that the COVID-19 health crisis will have on Ulster's tourism industry and our local business communities before moving forward the proposal to increase our County's occupancy tax from two to four percent."

 

 

 

________________________________________________________________

Sullivan County Confirms Another Case
of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus)

Monticello, NY – Sullivan County Public Health Director Nancy McGraw announced today that a new case of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) has been confirmed in the County.

“Another person in Sullivan County tested positive today, bringing our confirmed-case total to four,” said McGraw. “They have been self-isolating, and our staff are in the process of determining if there were any additional exposures.”

Sullivan County, in accordance with HIPAA policies and procedures, is not releasing information that could potentially identify individuals infected with COVID-19. The location of the first case confirmed in Sullivan County, at the Care Center at Sunset Lake, was identified only because it occurred with a health care worker in a high-traffic, County-run facility that serves particularly vulnerable individuals.

“Everyone with an illness, no matter how contagious, has a right to privacy – especially when any identification of an individual could impact them negatively. That's a real risk in communities as small as ours because of the familiarity that people have with each other,” McGraw explained. “So unless we determine there is an immediate risk to public health – for example, transmission in a crowded location such as a nursing home – we will not disclose locations, names or other information that would enable others to easily identify those who are infected.”

“Rest assured that the Public Health Services team, our NYS Department of Health colleagues and the staff of Sullivan County government are working night and day to investigate confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19, in order to keep all of us safe,” she added. “We will notify anyone we think has reason to be concerned that they have been exposed to this virus. The only official source for confirmed cases in Sullivan County is Public Health Services, which releases through official County channels.”

Please remember to actively protect yourself against COVID-19 transmission via social distancing and frequent handwashing with soap and water. For more information on the virus and local updates, visit www.sullivanny.us/departments/publichealth/coronavirus.

 ________________________________________________________________

ULSTER COUNTY CLERK'S OFFICE TO CLOSE MOTOR VEHICLE AND RECORDING COUNTER TO PUBLIC 

Kingston, NY – Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack has announced that the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Recording & Filing counter will be closed to the public for health and safety reasons.  This closure will begin immediately and is in effect until further notice.  Drop-boxes will be available at the Ulster County Office Building, 244 Fair Street, Kingston, on the back side of the building, facing the parking lot.

The Department of Motor Vehicles will have a drop-box outside the back-door County Office Building for plate surrenders and registration renewals.  License renewals will also be accepted in the drop-box, but a Vision Test Report must be attached.  For other transactions or frequently asked questions, please visit the New York State DMV website at https://dmv.ny.gov/

For land recordings and court filings, a drop-box will be located inside the back door of the County Office Building.  County Clerk public records can be searched online at https://www.searchiqs.com/NYULS/Login.aspx.

When at all possible, residents are urged to complete their transactions online or mail routine transactions to the Ulster County Clerk's Office, PO Box 1800, Kingston, NY 12402.  Please note, there are two separate drop-boxes, DMV which is outside the back door and Recording/Filing which is inside the back door.

“During this difficult time, we are trying to make the best decisions we can to maintain the welfare of our employees and the public,” stated County Clerk Postupack.  “We are taking the necessary steps to keep our services available in a socially responsible manner and encourage our residents to use online and mail options, as well as the drop-boxes.”

For further information, please contact Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack at (845) 340-3040.

 ________________________________________________________________

 

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

 

Please Be Advised:

 

The Village Board of Trustees will be holding an Emergency Meeting on Thursday, March 26th, 2020 at 8:30am. Pursuant to the current health and safety precautions as specified by NYS, no more than 10 (ten) individuals can occupy one space; if you are considering attending the Board meeting please be cognizant of this information.

Thank You

Village of Monticello

Janine Gandy-McKinney-Village Clerk

 

 

 

ASSEMBLYMEMBER CAHILL ANNOUNCES THE PASSAGE OF TWO MEASURES COMBATING THE CORONA PANDEMIC

 

Albany, NY- Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill (D – Ulster, Dutchess) announced the passage of two measures, both of which will help lessen the impact that the Corona Virus will have on our daily lives as well as ill-timed yet required seasonal procedures. 

 

The Covid-19 Sick Leave legislation, co-sponsored by Assemblymember Cahill, effective immediately, expands eligibility for sick leave and wage replacement during a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19 to all employees in both the private and public sector.  Further, eligible employees will receive anti-retaliation and job protections under this law.

 

"Today the state legislature acted to bring a measure of financial security to vulnerable families across New York.  People should be focused on staying safe and healthy, taking care of loved ones and preparing for the challenges of the days to come.  I hope this legislation will allow our hard-working neighbors who find themselves home and temporarily out of work to care for themselves, loved ones or out of an abundance of appropriate caution to have some relief," said Assemblymember Cahill.

  

“During this extraordinarily challenging time, New Yorkers should not feel compelled to go to work and risk infecting others because they are worried about their job.  This legislation will help to lessen the risk of community spread infection by reducing some of the worries New Yorkers may have about missing time at work,” stated Art Fougner, MD, President of the Medical Society of the State of New York.

 

“This legislation is welcome relief for our local small businesses and their workers in this time of crisis.  Our businesses are having to deal with a myriad of complex issues, with nothing more pressing than the health and safety of their valued employees, so having this health protection is great news,” said Ward D. Todd, President of the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

  

“The most important matter before us is the health and safety of the people we represent.  I intend to support families across New York, over 20,000 of whom just yesterday had their breadwinners contact the Department of Labor, over 10 times the usual number, to get information about unemployment insurance and how to keep food on their tables, a roof over their heads and to have the resources necessary to address the health needs of their loved ones,” said Assemblymember Cahill.

 

“The pandemic is going to affect everyone and people need to stay vigilant but avoid giving into fear and panic.  With the passage of this legislation, I can now more confidently suggest to patients feeling unwell of the viable option to stay home, recommending such without feeling I've bankrupted them and their families,” said Dr. Mark Josefski, Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai.  “Those at higher risk include the elderly, the immune compromised and individuals with repository and cardiac issues.  I encourage everyone to perform social distancing, handwashing, frequent disinfection of surfaces, covering cough and sneeze with elbow, avoid touching your face especially mouth and eyes and of course work from home if possible.”

 

Another measure passed today, A.10151 (Lavine), which adjusts the law regarding petitions for the June 2020 primary election has also become effective immediately.  “The state emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic necessitates a truncated political calendar for petitions related to the June 2020 primary election.  We are acting to assure that the fundamental right of the voters to participate in our electoral process is not compromised by the current health crisis.  Democracy is not a convenience or a luxury of good times.  It is basic to our way of life,” said Assemblymember Cahill.   

 

“We believe it is of the utmost importance the petition filing be taken care of before any possible escalations in quarantine orders, government closures or shelter in place orders progress.  We are being told that this crisis will get worse before it gets better.  We believe moving up the filing dates will better protect our candidates, employees and the public at large,” said Elizabeth Soto, Democratic Elections Commissioner and Ira Margulies, Deputy Commissioner, Dutchess County.

 

“I applaud Kevin Cahill, Jen Metzger, Jonathan Jacobson and the New York State Legislature for taking these measures to secure our democratic process during this difficult period.  For those who go door to door in the petitioning process and for the citizens they interact with their safety during this time is paramount.  By making these adjustments so quickly the legislature has alleviated anxiety for hundreds of volunteers in Ulster County alone.  I know myself and many others are grateful for the forward-thinking leadership of the New York State legislature displayed during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Ashley Dittus, Ulster County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner.

 

“Times like this call for decisive action.  That is what we in the state legislature have demonstrated by meeting today in challenging circumstances and using unusual protocols to assure that important measures are duly considered, debated and voted on,” concluded Assemblymember Cahill.

________________________________________________________________ ________________

  

Additional information and resources are available here: 

Š        New York State Health Department: www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/

Š        Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/

 

Sullivan County Confirms Two More Cases of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) 

Monticello, NY – Sullivan County Public Health Director Nancy McGraw announced today that two new cases of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) have been confirmed in the County.

“Two more people in Sullivan County tested positive today,” said McGraw. “They have been self-isolating, and we are in the midst of determining if there were any additional exposures.”

“These new cases are unrelated to the first case which appeared in a worker at our Care Center at Sunset Lake, and they are not County employees,” County Manager Joshua Potosek stated. “We are not allowed by law to identify the individuals, but we will keep the public as informed and as safe as possible as the investigation continues.”

For more information on the virus and local updates, visit www.sullivanny.us/departments/publichealth/coronavirus.

 ____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Appointments Only, for County Residents Only, at County Clerk's Office and DMV

Beginning Wednesday, March 18 

Monticello NY – Consistent with the guidance from Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Health Department to reduce the community spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), access to in-person transactions at the Sullivan County Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the County Clerk's Office will be by appointment only and limited to Sullivan County residents. No “walk-ins” will be allowed in either the DMV or the Clerk's Office. These procedures will remain in effect until further notice.

“It is imperative to take actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and well-being of our employees, the business community and Sullivan County residents while continuing to provide services,” stated County Clerk Russell Reeves.

E-filing and e-recording are encouraged, and all DMV dealer work will continue to be accepted and processed. Renewals can be mailed to Monticello DMV, 100 North St., Monticello, NY 12701.

To make an appointment, please call either the DMV at 845-794-3872 or the County Clerk's Office at 845-807-0411.

  ____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Governor Cuomo has postponed all Village Elections until Tuesday, April 28th, 2020. 

Please note:

ALL Voting Districts for the Village of Monticello- 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10 will be located at the Ted Stroebele Recreation Center-10 Jefferson Street, from 12:00 noon to 9:00pm. 

 

Please know that the Village of Monticello is taking all of the necessary precautionary measures for the safety and health for our employees and residents while adhering to any and all mandates and directives from our State and Local Officials.  If we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Village at 845-794-6130.

 

 ____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Sullivan County Suspending Portion of Room Tax Collections for Next 30 Days

Monticello, NY – In consultation with the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association (SCVA), Sullivan County Manager Joshua Potosek has issued an Executive Order to temporarily halt the collection of the bulk of room taxes.

A tax of 5% per that night's room rate is levied on all lodging rentals in Sullivan County, but under this Order, the collection of 85% of that tax will be suspended for the next month, until April 16. That 85% goes to the SCVA, while the remaining 15% is remitted to the County for administrative costs.

“Our lodging establishments are dealing with an extraordinary loss of their entire business, and it's unfair to expect them to continue paying taxes on rooms they no longer can rent out,” Potosek explained.

“My office collects these taxes, so I worked closely with the County Manager and County Attorney to help out our hard-hit hospitality industry,” commented County Treasurer Nancy Buck. “I agree that this is prudent and beneficial at this time.”

“On behalf of its membership and the entire local tourism industry, the SCVA thanks the County for taking this step,” said Foster Supply Hospitality owner Sims Foster, chairman of the SCVA Board and a hotelier himself. “Our industry is one of the pillars of Sullivan County's economy, and this will enable us to remain so as we see our way clear of this sudden calamity.”

“Our Sullivan Catskills businesses employ thousands of County residents and contributed $34.6 million in local taxes to our economy this past year,” added SCVA President/CEO Roberta Byron-Lockwood. “But we rely on something that right now is not prudent for people to do: come visit. We look forward to returning to the travel marketplace and welcoming everyone back to our Sullivan Catskills as soon as safely possible, but until that time, our many lodging businesses appreciate having extra time to remit their room taxes.” 

“This measure provides immediate relief to our businesses, without burdening our taxpayers,” said Legislature Chairman Robert A. Doherty. “We won't lose revenue by delaying tax payments, and our hotels, motels and B&Bs will have a fighting chance to recover from this situation.”

For questions or more information, contact the Treasurer's Office at 845-807-0210.

  ____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Catskill Veterinary Services

We are remaining open amid the COVID-19 crisis. We are a medical facility which already maintains a high level of cleanliness, but we are taking extra precautions to maintain a clean facility. We ask that if you or a family member are feeling ill that you do not come to the clinic or have our Doctors and Assistants come to your house for a house call during this time.

Did you know we offer virtual consults via TeleVet? You can simply download the app on your phone by following this link: https://www.gettelevet.com/owners.

After downloading the TeleVet app you can send a consultation to one of our Doctors. The Doctor will be able to address the issue and respond either through the TeleVet app or a phone call. If any medications are needed to be prescribed we can ship them directly to your home!

 

230 Rock Hill Drive
Rock Hill, NY 12775
(845) 796-5919

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_________________

Monday, March 16th,  2020

Closings and Cancellations

Please Be Advised:

Š      The Village of Monticello Board meeting that was scheduled for tonight, Monday, March 16th, 2020 at 6:00pm has been CANCELLED. 

Š      The Village of Monticello will be CLOSED to the Public beginning, Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 through March 31st, 2020 and the doors to Village Hall will be locked. Any and all correspondence can be done via the phone, email and the regular mail.

Š      The Village Election that is scheduled for Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 will still be held from 12:00noon to 9:00pm.  ALL Voting Districts will be located at the Ted Stroebele Recreation Center

Š      The Planning Board Meeting that is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24th, 2020 at 7:00pm has also been CANCELLED.

Please know that the Village of Monticello is taking all of the necessary precautionary measures for the safety and health for our employees and residents while adhering to any and all mandates and directives from our State and Local Officials.  If we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Village at 845-794-6130.

Thank you.

Mayor Gary P. Sommers

Village of Monticello

 

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Monday, March 16th, 2020

Please Be Advised:

ALL RECYCLING IN THE VILLAGE OF MONTICELLO HAS BEEN SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Thank you

Mayor Gary P. Sommers

Village of Monticello

 

 

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Metzger Senate Offices Remain Open Remotely to Provide Continuous Services to Constituents During COVID-19 Outbreak

Hudson Valley and Catskills, NY…The Middletown and Liberty district offices of State Senator Jen Metzger (SD-42) will remain open on a remote basis to provide continuous service to constituents during the COVID-19 outbreak. Constituent services staff can be reached during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, by calling the Middletown office at (845) 344-3311 or the Liberty office at (845) 292-0215.

            Senator Metzger has been in daily briefings with the Governor's office, and has also been communicating with county health departments to learn how to best support local efforts to combat the virus and keep local communities safe. To help constituents follow state and local updates, a coronavirus guidance page has been created on Metzger's Senate website, and she routinely provides information and resources on her social media platforms and in e-newsletters. Constituents can sign up to receive emails by going to web address bit.ly/jen-news.

            “The health and safety of our communities is my top priority, and I have put protocols in place to enable our office to continue to serve the public while minimizing health risks to staff and to my constituents,” said Senator Metzger. “While our Middletown and Liberty offices are closed to in-person visits, constituents can reach us via phone or email, and my staff and I are ready to assist them as always.”

            Metzger last week joined lawmakers in thwarting bad-faith businesses looking to make a profit off the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis by supporting new legislation (S7932) that would crack down on price gouging of consumer medical supplies that New Yorkers need to stay safe. She also co-sponsors a number of bills to address various aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak and its impacts. These include: 

Š       S8015 – Permits absentee voting in the event of a public health risk.

Š       S2520B – Provides interest-free loans to small businesses and nonprofits affected by any community-wide shutdowns from the coronavirus.

Š       S8014 – A bill that ensures school tuition is paid to non-traditional public schools that receive state aid (includes 853 schools and those that cater to the deaf and blind) in the event of a COVID-19 shutdown, ensuring employees are still paid.

Š       S6425A – A bill that raises the cap on how much retired police officers can make during a state of emergency from $35,000 to $65,000 in case municipalities need extra staff.

Š       S8041 – Adds exposure to a communicable disease that requires mandatory quarantine to the list of qualifying exposures for veterans benefits.

Š       S7996A – Provides that school districts are entitled to an apportionment of state aid for the closure of schools in response to the novel coronavirus, even when no state of emergency has been declared.

Š       S7989 – Requires policies and contracts that provide coverage for prescription drugs to include coverage of an immediate additional thirty-day supply of a prescription drug during a state disaster emergency.

 

 

 

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Ashokan-Pepacton Watershed Chapter of Trout Unlimited - Currently the coronavirus has our world turned upside; Numerous cancelled events, including our March meeting.  Recently Ulster County, where a good portion of the chapter resides, declared a State of Emergency: https://ulstercountyny.gov/news/executive/county-executive-ryan-and-commissioner-health-dr-carol-smith-announce-new  As a chapter, we are trying to follow protocols issued by our local and state governments, and monitoring advice rendered by Trout Unlimited National.  Hopefully in a few weeks this will all be behind us and we can look forward to the coming trout season.

 

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Sullivan County Confirms One Case
of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus)

Monticello, NY – Sullivan County Public Health Director Nancy McGraw announced today that a case of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) has been confirmed at the County-owned and operated Care Center at Sunset Lake in Liberty.

            “A healthcare worker at our nursing home tested positive today for the virus,” said McGraw. “They have been self-isolating since going home from work last Thursday. As a matter of routine, the Center's direct-care staff all wear personal protective equipment as they work, and to date, none of our Care Center residents or staff are exhibiting elevated temperatures or respiratory symptoms.”

            “Sullivan County Public Health Services continues to be in direct contact with the NYS Department of Health for guidance and in investigating this case and limiting further transmission,” County Manager Joshua Potosek stated. “Visitation to the Care Center was halted on Friday, and until we know more about this situation, we are also halting all new admissions and non-urgent medical appointments at the facility.”

            For more information on the virus and local updates, visit www.sullivanny.us/departments/publichealth/coronavirus.

 

 

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DEC Announces Rainbow Trout Sampling for Finger Lakes Tributaries Cancelled

            New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Paul D'Amato today announced the cancellation of this year's rainbow trout sampling in Finger Lakes tributaries to reduce the community spread of COVID-19.

Sampling was scheduled for Thursday, March 19, at Naples Creek in Ontario County, and Friday, March 20, at Cold Brook (Keuka Inlet) in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County.

 

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Daniel Pierce Library

 

The health and safety of our patrons are of the utmost importance to us.  With that in mind, we have made the decision to close the library during this trying time.  We will remain closed through April 4th and will reopen to the public on Tuesday, April 7th.  We are using this time to take extra measures to disinfect the library and our materials.

 

            Please know that all items that have been checked out from our library now have a due date of April 7th.  No fines will accrue during this time. We encourage you to hold on to your items and return them once

we re-open.

 

            If you have requested items from any other libraries, those requests have been suspended until further notice.  A significant number of RCLS libraries are closed and RCLS has suspended all deliveries

until further notice.

 

            Staff will be checking voicemails and emails (Monday through Friday) while we are closed to the public.  We will do our best to return your call in a timely manner.

 

            While we are not open to the public, there are a lot of online resources available to you as a Daniel Pierce Library patron.  E-books, audiobooks, streaming media, and digital resources are available 24 hours a day. If you need assistance, please give us a call and a staff member will get back to you and will walk you through the necessary steps.

            For more information, please visit danielpiercelibrary.org or visit us on Facebook

 

 

  Back to The Townsman Legacy

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ULSTER COUNTY CLERK'S OFFICE TO LIMIT IN-PERSON TRANSACTIONS AS PER DIRECTIVE FROM UC  EXECUTIVE 

Kingston, NY – Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack has announced that in-person transactions at the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Recording & Filing counter will be limited as per the health and safety directive from Ulster County Executive Patrick K. Ryan.  These limitations will begin immediately and be in effect for the next two weeks, through March 27, 2020.

            During this time, an appointment will be required to process transactions at the Department of Motor Vehicles at 244 Fair Street in Kingston.  Appointments can be made online by visiting ulstercountyny.gov/countyclerk/dmv.html and clicking the “Make an Appointment” button.  The DMV Mobile Unit will not be in use during this time.  It's regularly scheduled days at Marlboro, Saugerties, Ellenville, New Paltz, Shandaken and Shawangunk have been canceled for the next two weeks.

            The Recording and Filing counter will only be accepting critical in-person land recordings and court filings.  All other in-person transactions will be suspended.  The Records Room will also be closed during this timeframe

            When at all possible, residents are urged to mail routine transactions to the Ulster County Clerk's Office, PO Box 1800, Kingston, NY 12402. 

            “The welfare of our residents is my primary concern when enacting these short-term limitations,” stated County Clerk Postupack.  “I urge everyone to take the necessary precautions to ensure the well-being of our community by limiting in-person visits for priority transaction only.”

            For further information, please contact Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack at (845) 340-3040.

 

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Saturday, March 14, 2020 Ulster County and Sullivan County - Update on Closings/Cancellations/Postponements

 

Sullivan County Manager Orders
Schools Closed Through April 3

Monticello, NY – With cases of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) in every county surrounding Sullivan, County Manager Joshua Potosek, in consultation with BOCES District Superintendent Robert Dufour, is instructing all eight public school districts in the County to close for the next three weeks, through April 3.

This order applies to the following districts: Eldred, Fallsburg, Liberty, Livingston Manor, Monticello, Roscoe, Sullivan West and Tri-Valley. (The four other districts which serve portions of Sullivan County - Ellenville, Pine Bush, Port Jervis and Minisink Valley - have already been closed by their respective county and school leaders.)

"This was a difficult decision to make, considering how disruptive this closure may be to children's education, including my own," Potosek remarked. "But given the circumstances - including the fact that virtually every school district surrounding Sullivan County has already closed for at least two weeks - this is the most prudent choice. We cannot allow coronavirus to rapidly spread through the classrooms and hallways of our schools. That promises to be far more disruptive than a controlled closure."

"I have been in daily contact with the seven superintendents of our eight component school districts, and we are in agreement this is the right decision at the right time," Dr. Dufour commented. "In fact, we have been preparing for this probability, including the possibility of distance learning alternatives. I ask all students, parents and district supporters to be patient with us and to work with us as we continue to respond proactively to the coronavirus threat."

"This is a crucial step, and the County Manager's order to close schools will allow districts to avoid any penalties from not meeting the State's minimum 180-school-days rule," explained Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther. "The districts themselves will be in touch with families about steps moving forward, including who to contact with questions."

Note that while Potosek's order is statutorily limited to five days, he intends to renew it for three weeks, ensuring local schools remain closed through April 3.

 

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Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Governor Cuomo Signs Executive Order Temporarily Modifying Election Procedures to Reduce Spread of Coronavirus
Reduces Number of Petition Signatures to 30% of the Statutory Threshold; Petition Period Will End at 5PM on Tuesday 3/17
Extends Deadline to Apply to Vote Absentee for Queens Borough President special election on March 24


           
In an effort to keep New Yorkers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed an executive order temporarily modifying election procedures to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

            The executive order suspends the candidate petitioning process — effective 5PM on Tuesday — for the June primaries for Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly and Judicial races.
            The executive order also modifies the signature requirements for ballot access; candidates will only need to collect 30 percent of the statutory threshold. For Congress, candidates would need 375 signatures rather than 1,250. For State Senate, candidates would need 300 signatures rather than 1,000. For Assembly, candidates would only need 150 signatures rather than 500.
            The executive order also modifies deadlines and procedures to better allow New Yorkers to vote absentee for the Queens Borough President special election on March 24. It extends the current deadline to register to vote absentee to March 23, the day before the special election. Absentee votes must be postmarked or delivered in person up until the day of the election on March 24. 
            "Public health experts have been clear that one of the most common ways to communicate COVID-19 is through direct person to person contact, and we are doing everything in our immediate power to reduce unnecessary interactions," Governor Cuomo said. "This executive order modifies the election process in a way that both protects public health and ensures the democratic process remains healthy and strong regardless of the ongoing pandemic."

 

 Back to The Townsman Legacy _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Village of Monticello - All Poll Workers, Village Residents, and Voters

              The Village of Monticello Voting Poll Locations have changed for the Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 Election.  Voters in Districts 7 & 8 will now cast your vote at the Ted Stroebele Recreation Center located at 10 Jefferson Street along with Districts 6, 9 & 10.  The polls will be open from 12:00noon until 9:00pm. Please make note of this important change.

Thank you.  Janine Gandy-McKinney  Village Clerk

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Olive Free Library Update on Cancellations of Programs and Hours of Service

            During uncertain times it is our instinct to gather to discuss and comfort each other, which has made the decision to cancel programs and reduce our hours of service especially hard.  This decision was not made lightly.  I am hopeful we will be able to resume normal hours at the end of March, but I've learned that this is a rapidly evolving situation and nothing can be predicted. 
            We will continue to check email and phone messages, please feel free to reach out if you have questions or concerns.
            Thank you for your patience and understanding!
Chrissy Lawlor
Library Director
director@olivefreelibrary.

 

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ST. MARK'S UM CHURCH 68 Church St, Napanoch, NY 12458  - Yard and Clothing Sale  TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR TWO WEEKS - We are sorry for any inconvenience and hope to reopen April 3

 

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March 13, 2020 Announcements

Ulster Executive Pat Ryan and Commissioner of Health,Dr. Carol Smith Announce New Developments Related to COVID-19

County Executive Ryan Directs Schoolsin Ulster County to Close for 14-Days

County Executive Ryan to Hold Tele-TownHall, Sunday at 2:00 p.m. for Residents 

 

            “Inconsultation with the Health Department and the Ulster County Health and SafetyAdvisory Task Force, and out of an abundance of caution, I am directing theclosure of all schools in Ulster County for 14 days, starting on Monday. As a parent, I know this will impact families in ourcommunity, and understand the sacrifice this will entail, but I am confident weare making the right decision. We are working closely with school officials andcommunity leaders to develop plans at the school district-level to helpalleviate the stresses and hardships this will place on our County’sfamilies.  Based on what we currently know about the spread of COVID-19,we believe that acting decisively now will significantly reduce the impact onour community and help protect our most vulnerable neighbors” - UlsterCounty Executive Pat Ryan.

            Schoolsuperintendents and officials will implement this order as appropriate in eachdistrict, and provide additional guidance to their school communities in thecoming hours and days. Schools will be closed for instruction, after-school andextracurricular events, and public events, but superintendents may directessential staff to report as needed. 

            “Theseare challenging times. All of the Ulster County school superintendents supportthis action by County Executive Ryan. We all have the same goal which is toprotect the health and safety of the over 22,000 students and the thousands ofteachers, administrators and support staff who work in our schools everyday” -Chuck Khoury, District Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer, Ulster BOCES

            “Thisis an important action that will protect the health and safety of the residentsof Ulster County. This decision was not made lightly and we know that it willhave real world impacts to many, but it is the decision that needs to be madeto stop the continued spread of COVID-19. I applaud the County Executive fortaking direct and swift action. I want to again stress that residents shouldcontinue to exercise caution, but that this is not a cause for panic. Forphysicians, school districts, and those who feel they may be exposed or areexperiencing symptoms, call our new COVID-19 hotline at 845-443-8888 or visitour website ulstercountyny.gov/Coronavirus for more information” - Commissionerof Health Dr. Carol Smith.

            Inaddition to working closely with school superintendents and officials, UlsterCounty is in close coordination with neighboring Dutchess County and OrangeCounty leadership.

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Sullivan County Manager Declares State of Emergency

Monticello, NY – While Sullivan County currently continues to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus), County Manager Joshua Potosek announced today that County government operations will be altered significantly for the time being.

“Considering the State's ongoing efforts to contain coronavirus – which has now been confirmed in all the counties which surround Sullivan – it's timely and prudent for Sullivan County government to protect both its employees and the public, without inconveniencing either more than necessary,” Potosek stated. “Thus I am declaring a State of Emergency in Sullivan County and initiating a series of measures to preserve service delivery and health & welfare.”

Minimal Staffing at Many Offices

            Effective Monday, March 16, County government offices will be staffed as lightly as possible, some with only one employee, so as to minimize the chances of coronavirus exposure and transmission. Certain facilities, like the Care Center and DMV, will continue to be fully staffed in order to provide necessary services to the public. But even in those locations, restrictions will be in place (see below).

            “I encourage citizens to call our offices to seek services whenever possible – and to only do so when absolutely necessary, considering the few staff who will be available to answer phones,” Potosek urged. “If it can wait a week or two, let it wait.”

            The majority of County employees will continue to work during normal hours, however, as provisions have been made to give them access to their digital workspaces from home.

Care Center Closed to Visitors

            Except for families of loved ones receiving end-of-life care, visitation to the Care Center at Sunset Lake in Liberty is suspended indefinitely. This is to protect the County's most vulnerable residents from coronavirus, which can be lethal for older adults.

            “My own wife is a resident of the Care Center, so this news was devastating to me,” District 6 Legislator Luis Alvarez remarked. “But I understand why it is being done, and like many other families, I am enduring this very painful sacrifice for the welfare of those we care for at the Center.”

DMV Serving Only Sullivan County Residents

            Starting Monday, March 16, all MV-44 transactions at the Sullivan County Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office will be conducted for Sullivan County residents only, so as to limit the potential spread of coronavirus. This includes applications for and renewals of all driver's licenses (Standard, Enhanced and Real ID), learner's permits, non-driver's license ID cards, conditional or restricted licenses, and reciprocity. (DMV's previous camera breakdown has been repaired, so full services have been restored.)

            In addition, the Sullivan County Clerk's Office will process passports only for Sullivan County residents. The Clerk's Office also strongly encourages e-recording of documents.

Congregant Meal Sites Closed

            All County-served senior nutrition sites have been closed indefinitely in order to limit potential exposures to senior citizens, who are most at risk from coronavirus. Meals on Wheels deliveries will continue, however, and officials are working on further efforts to meet the nutritional needs of residents.

County Events Cancelled

            The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office's Victim Impact Panel scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 in the Government Center's Hearing Room has been rescheduled for Tuesday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m.

            The Sullivan County Career Center's March Hiring Event on March 25 and the Monticello Library Hiring Event on April 4 have both been cancelled.

Emergency Operations Center Opened

            At Potosek's direction, the Sullivan County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been opened in White Lake, and provisions are being made to fully staff it as the need arises.

            “We have been and will continue to be working closely with our local towns and villages, their police departments and State health authorities to address any impacts of coronavirus as they come our way,” Potosek explained. “While I can't assure that we won't have any cases of the virus in our County, I CAN assure that we are taking the steps necessary to fulfill our obligation to protect and promote the health and welfare of all our citizens.”

            Updates and further details, including how to protect yourself against coronavirus, can be found at www.sullivanny.us/departments/publichealth/coronavirus

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Ulster County & Sullivan County

Postponements • Cancellations • Change of Venue – as of 3/13/2020

 

 

• POSTPONED -CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF ORANGE, SULLIVAN, AND ULSTER ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF CHARITY AND CARITAS AWARDS DINNER HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL TUESDAY, JUNE 9, 2020.

 

Time and the Valleys Museum, Grahamsville, NY - Meet the Artists Reception WOW: Water on Water Catalogue on Sunday, March 29 at the Time and the Valleys Museum HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

• CANCELLED - SULLIVAN COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FIRST FRIDAY BREAKFAST FOR APRIL 3, 2020

 

 

Village of Monticello - All Poll Workers, Village Residents, and Voters -

The Village of Monticello Voting Poll Locations have changed for the Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 Election. Voters in Districts 7 & 8 will now cast your vote at the Ted Stroebele Recreation Center located at 10 Jefferson Street along with Districts 6, 9 & 10. The polls will be open from 12:00noon until 9:00pm. Please make note of this important change.

Janine Gandy-McKinney, Village Clerk

 

Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center As a Community Center, we are first and foremost committed to the health and well-being of our community and all communities. After careful consideration and being informed by the CDC and World Health Organization current guidelines, we have made the right decision to suspend Center programming through to March 31st and postpone the 2020 Gala until we are confident it is safe for all to attend. We do so out of an abundance of caution for the entire community. 
Please check our website for updates or call the Center (Monday-Friday 9:30am-5pm) at 845-331-5300.

Wishing you the best of health,

 The Staff and Board of The Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center

 

 

ASK (Art Society of Kingston) - • We had a number of wonderful events planned for this weekend. Due to recommendations from Ulster County and in consultation with the artists, we are cancelling all events this weekend. We are working with the artists to reschedule and will let you know when we are able to present these fine performances!
While the majority of ticket sales go to the artists, ASK relies on revenue from our events to maintain our programming, staff and building. If you would like to join ASK to support the arts, your help during this difficult time for artists and venues is very appreciated. Use the "JOIN US" link above to become a member today!

• CANCELLED-The Catskill Mountain Gamelan The Catskill Mountain Gamelan presents a concert of Indonesian music, with guest artists Ageng Yustisiani Putri, a Sundanese classical dancer, and her husband Edward Garcia (drummer), who is recently returned from a music fellowship studying in West Java. Together with the Catskill Mountain Gamelan, they will be performing Indonesian classical dance, including tari topeng (masked dance) and song, featuring female singers and dancers. A gamelan is a West Javanese percussion ensemble, decoratively designed and made of bronze hanging and potted gongs and metallophones. Led by Dr. Dorcinda Knauth, an ethnomusicologist specializing in Indonesian music, the group consists of talented musicians, composers and dancers from the Hudson Valley.

• CANCELLED- Bard Music Festival and The Orchestra Now present: French Impressions Nadia Boulanger and Her World  Bard Music Festival and The Orchestra Now present: French Impressions Nadia Boulanger and Her World has been cancelled. A new date for this event will be announced at a later time. We apologize for any inconvenience.

• CANCELLED-Sketch Laughs! w/ Crime Alley Sketch Laughs! with Crime Alley this Saturday night has been cancelled. A new date for this event will be announced at a later time. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

Woodstock School of Art

Dear students, instructors and patrons,

            In the interest of public health and safety, the Woodstock School of Art offices, studios, and gallery will be closed from Sunday, March 16th through Tuesday, March 31st. The school staff will be available to intermittently respond to emails.

            Please follow our Facebook page & check our website for more updates over the next few weeks.

            For students that have paid for classes and workshops during the time period we are closed (March 16 - 31, 2020), we have a few options:

Š             Weekly classes: a credit will be issued for you to continue your classes when the school reopens.

Š             Workshops: we will be sending an email to students with a reschedule date.

            If the options above do not work for you, then we will issue a full refund or please consider donating a portion of the tuition to the school. Any donations received will help fund our efforts to keep the school in good fiscal health during these uncertain times. Please contact the registrar with your desire to reschedule, receive a refund or make a donation at: registrar@woodstockschoolofart.org

            We are closely monitoring the evolving situation on behalf of the artist community and continue to follow the lead of the State and Federal government and health experts.

Sincerely, Nina Doyle, Executive Director of Woodstock School of Art

 

 

Maple Fest  at Ashokan

            Maple Fest is one of our favorite annual events, so it is with deep regrets that we must cancel for public safety reasons. Beginning at 5pm today, gatherings of 500 people or more are banned in NY state. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep our community informed. 

            Sunday, March 22 our Ashokan staff will host a "Maple Fest Live" streaming hour on our FaceBook page. We know it's not as good as gathering in person, but we invite you to tune in for a little lighthearted fun in this otherwise challenging time. 

 

 

3/13/2020

 

 

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