In Response to First NYS Coronavirus Case, Ulster County Implements Additional Public Health Measures and Launches Website to Update the Public
County Executive Directs Budget Director to Ensure Emergency Funding is Available to Combat the Spread of the Virus
KINGSTON, NY – On Tuesday, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan will convene and lead a Health Emergency Management Exercise at the Ulster County Emergency Operations Center based on the announcement of the first case of coronavirus in New York State. The meeting will bring together stakeholders to practice and refine the County’s action plan for the virus.
In response to initial reports of coronavirus early last month, Ulster County rapidly developed an emergency management plan. As the situation has developed, in close coordination with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the NYS Department of Health (DOH), and other relevant agencies, the County has continued to refine its plan.
At this time, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus in Ulster County. Following protocol and pursuant to DOH and CDC guidelines, traveling individuals returning from certain specified areas where they may have been exposed to the coronavirus are asked to voluntarily isolate themselves for a period of fourteen days. All residents returning from these areas have agreed to voluntarily quarantine in their homes, as well as be monitored by the Health Department.
County Executive Ryan has directed the Ulster County Budget Director to ensure that emergency funding is available, if necessary, to combat the further spread of the virus locally.
“Protecting the health and safety of our residents is my absolute top priority,” said Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan. “The people of Ulster County should take comfort in knowing that we are prepared, and that have been preparing for weeks, to handle this situation. We will continue to provide the public with updates and we ask that all residents do their part to help prevent the spread of the virus by following preventive measures and reaching out to our Health Department with any concerns or questions.”
County Executive Ryan has also launched a webpage to give the public resources and up to the minute updates. Information and preventive tips are available at https://ulstercountyny.gov/Coronavirus.
Residents should take the following steps to help minimize and contain potential exposures. These include preventative measures, such as:
Washing hands with soap and water frequently, for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating
- Avoiding touching surfaces in public spaces, whenever possible
- Avoiding touching eyes and mouth
- Always covering a cough or sneeze with a tissue or a sleeve, rather than your hands and dispose of the tissue in the trash
- Staying home if sick, except to seek medical attention, to avoid infecting others
- Getting the flu shot if you have not done so already – it’s no too late
- Helping to keep your immune system strong by getting enough sleep and reducing stress
Coronavirus symptoms can include fever, cough, fatigue, trouble breathing and pneumonia. These symptoms can also be seen in season flu and other coronavirus infections. CDC believes that at this time symptoms of coronavirus infection may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days after exposure. If you suspect that you or anyone in your family may have been exposed to coronavirus through travel to affected areas or are experiencing symptoms, please contact your medical provider immediately. New York State’s state-of-the-art Wadsworth Laboratory, in Albany, is now authorized to conduct testing for coronavirus and can provide your doctor with a definite determination if coronavirus infection is present.
For more information, please visit the New York State Department of Health Coronavirus site at https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/ or the CDC’s Coronavirus site at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. The New York State Department of Health has also set up a special COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.