As concerns mount over the recent outbreak of coronavirus cases in New York, local officials and institutions have issued statements regarding proactive measures being taken to combat the flu-like sickness. New York currently finds itself second in the country in confirmed cases behind the State of Washington with 173. While the spread of coronavirus remains larger overseas in Europe and Asia where countries like Italy are issuing country-wide lockdowns, New York health officials have begun to ramp up testing. Here a few updates from leaders around the region:
New York State Department of Health-
“Recently, a new coronavirus – 2019 Novel (New) Coronavirus – that was first detected in China is now spreading worldwide. This virus causes a disease called COVID-19 and can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath. There are thousands of confirmed cases in a growing number of countries internationally and the virus is now spreading in the United States. There are ongoing investigations to learn more about this virus. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern, or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas, should call ahead to their health care provider before seeking treatment in person. This is a rapidly changing situation. Please check the CDC’s Novel Coronavirus webpage for updates.”
Statement from Columbia County Department of Health-
“As of this release, there are no cases of Covid-19 in Columbia County. Our actions and how we form our plans for both health care providers and the general public are defined by the Center for Disease Control through New York State Department of Health. The risk factor for potential cases impacting Columbia County remains low. The Columbia County Department of Health along with local county officials are committed to actively monitoring the progression of this new virus and modifying our response as required.”
Covid-19 Risk is Low for Columbia County Residents
The coronavirus is a respiratory pathogen spread by coughing that can cause an illness ranging from mild to severe.
The Columbia County Department of Health in coordination with the New York State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the local hospital and local providers are closely monitoring the global situation of respiratory illness, now being referred to as Covid-19.
We are prepared to identify and manage suspect cases and will implement appropriate control measures to prevent the spread of disease locally.
The danger to Columbia County residents is low.
The most important things to remember to protect against ANY respiratory virus is to avoid close contact with people who are sick, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.”
Follow this link to the CDC for what you need to know about Covid-19 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#basics
From the Office of NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand-
“As news about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to circulate, our office wants to ensure that our constituents have the tools to stay properly informed during this time. We are sure you are following this issue closely and understand your communities may be concerned with developing news about the virus. Please know that our office is closely monitoring updates on this situation and believe it is essential that we have all the facts to stay informed as we move forward.”
The CDC has a list of frequently asked questions and recommended best practices for staying healthy: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html
Attached are some helpful posters from the CDC that can be posted or shared in community spaces.
In addition, the New York State Department of Health is providing information and statewide updates regarding the virus: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/
Constituents can also call for more information at the New York State Novel Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065”
Statement from Dutchess County Exectutive Marc Molinaro-
“While there are still no confirmed cases of novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 in Dutchess County, our Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) has been informed a limited number of Dutchess County residents may have had contact on with an Ulster County individual who tested positive for COVID-19. All Dutchess residents who may have had contact with the individual have been contacted and are being monitored by DBCH. This is in addition to several residents who were already under precautionary quarantine relating to travel status. None of the residents being monitored have exhibited any symptoms and we are grateful for their cooperation.
The confirmed Ulster County resident is currently under mandatory quarantine and is already recovering, with his symptoms subsiding. DBCH staff, along with members of the Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess County, has connected with every individual that had direct or possible contact with Ulster resident and all are following the recommended protocols relating to mandatory or precautionary quarantine.
Though there continue to be no cases of COVID-19 in our county, we have been preparing for this emerging health situation for weeks and recognize there will inevitably be positive cases here. We have been talking to the community about the proactive steps each person can to engage the community and urge them to take precautions, as they would during any active flu season, to prevent the spread of viruses, including COVID-19. We will continue to remind people of the basic, common-sense steps to take to stay healthy, including hand-washing and social distancing. It is important people think about basic preparedness, should they or a member of their family become ill with flu, COVID-19 or other viruses that may keep them home for several days.
Dutchess County has established a website, www.dutchessny.gov/coronavirus, which contains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most up-to-date information about COVID-19, including tips for proper hand-washing, cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, and further healthcare guidance. We have also established an informational phone number, (845) 486-3555, to provide further guidance for residents. Additionally, the New York State Department of Health has set up a statewide hotline, (888) 364-3065, to answer residents’ questions about Coronavirus/COVID-19.”
Statement from Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson-
“As more cases of Covid-19, the Coronavirus are identified in the United States I urge residents of Hudson to remain calm. I have been in touch with Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH) who have longstanding emergency protocols for public health emergencies. CMH is directing anyone who is experiencing any symptoms related to Covid-19 to please call the emergency room for further instructions. I am currently in talks with Amtrak about what protocols the train station will be taking for people traveling into our city. The Hudson City School District is taking all proactive measures including working closely NYS Department of Education, and State and Local officials from the Department of Health to monitor all available protocols and information. As a city I ask you to focus on prevention follow all CDC prevention guidelines. My office will continue to provide updated information.”
Statement from North East Town Supervisor Christopher Kennan-
“Dear North East Community Leaders, Business Owners and Residents,
As you know, there is concern about the threat which the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) could pose to our Millerton/North East community. While there have not yet been any reported cases in Dutchess County, it would be unrealistic to believe we are somehow too remote or too rural for the virus to pop up here, and it is always better to be prepared. And it is important to stay informed as to what is actually going on, and to avoid the spread of misinformation.
On Tuesday I participated in a county-wide conference call led by Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and his team from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health and the Dutchess County Department of Emergency Services. I want to keep our community informed about our County’s rapid response to monitoring the COVID-19 virus and the protocols that are being put into place for people who believe they may be infected. I will be sending out updates as we receive them. In this email I have included contacts from individual businesses, including our restaurants, the Library, Town Hall, Village of Millerton, the various Town Boards, NECC, Townscape, Salisbury Bank, The Moviehouse, the Fire Company, the Post Office and the American Legion. Feel free to disseminate these updates to your families, to your employees or to your memberships, as you see fit.”
Department of Behavioral and Community Health
For up to date information about Covid-19 visit:
Dutchess County website: www.dutchessny.gov/coronavirus
New York State Department of Health: https://health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- As of today, March 5, NY State has 22 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 18 in Westchester County. As of today there are no confirmed cases in Dutchess County
- The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health (DBCH) is charged with the prevention and control of communicable diseases and is our local point of contact for Covid-19. DBCH is constantly monitoring the situation and will adjust strategies as disease in community evolves.
An information phone line will be live within 24-48 hours; the number is 845-486-3555
- DBCH has been and will continue to work with County colleges, school districts, healthcare facilities and municipalities to share information and strategies for prevention and mitigation to lessen the impact of Covid-19 on our community.
- Your support through distribution of prevention strategies through various platforms will significantly aid in the effort to lessen the impact
Basic approach :
- If experiencing symptoms call your healthcare provider first.
- Call DBCH only if you are unable to access a provider
Most importantly, practice good personal hygiene (social distancing, cough/sneeze into elbow or tissue, try to avoid touching your face, and do not go to work or large social gatherings if you are ill).
If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Dutchess County, Dutchess County Government will issue an official statement and will initiate immediate contact with municipalities.
Up-to-date information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on Dutchess County Government’s website, www.dutchessny.gov/coronavirus. This page includes information from the Centers for Disease Control regarding preventing the spread of the virus, proper hygiene, cleaning and disinfection.
The Town of North East will add the www.dutchessny.gov/coronavirus link to our website so our residents can have easy access to current and up to date info.
Dutchess County Government will continue to share information about the virus and any developments on its Facebook page and Twitter feed. You should feel free to share these posts on your social media channels.
Supervisor, Town of North East
Millerton NY 12546
Tel. 518-789-3300, ext. 608
Statement from Taconic Hills CSD-
March 10: Coronavirus Update
Dear Parents/Guardians & Community Members,
While the Taconic Hills Central School District does not have a confirmed case of novel coronavirus, COVID-19, within our school community, we are monitoring information from local, state and federal officials about new cases. If the district becomes aware that one of our students or staff members is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will notify our community via email and on our website.
For now, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your children is to follow the standard preventive practices for influenza. There are a number of steps that students, staff and community members can take to minimize the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, according to the New York State Department of Health:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Heavily soiled hands should be washed.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
More information about COVID-19 is available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state Department of Health also has information available on its website, including a Coronavirus hotline.
Campus Cleaning Procedures
Our custodial staff members clean our buildings thoroughly every evening and we are taking special precautions to wipe down “high-touch surfaces” with cleaners that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and effective against coronavirus. We are also routinely deep cleaning buses.
Taconic Hills is taking precautions to ensure that our community is practicing good hygiene for community events (concerts, Success Fest, Dodgeball). Hand washing stations are always available during events and visitors are encouraged to take preventative measures to avoid spreading any germs. As always, please do not come to school if you are sick. Any student or attendee who demonstrates signs of illness may be asked to leave the event as a preventative safety measure.
We continue to monitor any travel by staff and students and make decisions on a case-by-case basis. We have scaled back some of our out of District events as a precautionary measure. We continue to monitor the situation and how it may affect upcoming travel and share information with any affected groups as it becomes available.
We appreciate your support of our district and will share more information as it becomes available via email and on our district website at https://www.taconichills.k12.ny.us/
Neil L. Howard, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools
For more information on the COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease and the preventative measures you can take visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov/coronavirus