County Executive Ryan Discusses Plan to Safely Reopen County Government Departments

Reminds residents to take proper safety precautions and remain vigilant 

KINGSTON, N.Y. –  Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan today during his Facebook Live Town Hall with Dr. Carol Smith discussed plans for reopening County departments and reminded residents to take proper safety precautions. 

“As a government, we are leading by example and finalizing our plans to reopen county government safely and responsibly,” said County Executive Ryan. “The health and safety of the 1,400 individuals who work for Ulster County, along with the thousands of residents that we serve is of utmost importance to me. We will be taking every necessary measure to ensure that the workforce along with those that we serve are protected.”

“As Ulster County begins to re-open, we must continue to remain vigilant in protecting the health and safety of the residents of Ulster County,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Carol Smith. “It is vitally important that all residents follow our County, State, and CDC guidance and continue to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and wash their hands.”

Consistent with the sectors outlined in the NY Forward plan, the following County Departments are aligned with Phase 1 reopening:

  • Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT)
  • Department of Public Works (DPW)
  • Safety Department
  • Department of Health (DOH)
  • Department of Weights & Measures
  • Emergency Services (911, Fire/EMS)

The following departments will begin reopening in Phase 2:

  • County Attorney
  • Social Services (DSS)
  • Economic Development
  • Employment and Training
  • Environment
  • Finance
  • Human Rights
  • Information Services (IS)
  • Insurance
  • Public Defender
  • Probation
  • Planning
  • Personnel
  • Veterans
  • Youth

Phase 3 reopening departments are Aging and Tourism.

All departments must follow the Countywide Workplace Safety Plan. In addition, each department is required to implement a tailored safety plan for reopening to the public. Each department will be given advance notice of this reopening date to allow proper time to prepare. Having this safety plan in effect prior to reopening will ensure the safety of County employees and the public as we transition throughout the state reopening plan.

County Executive Ryan also stressed that while Phase 1 reopening is an encouraging step forward, he reminded residents that New York State and CDC guidance still remain in effect. All residents must continue to wear masks, maintain social distancing, wash hands and take the following recommended safety precautions:

Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low-cost, and should be used as a public health measure, beyond social distancing. Individuals must procure, fashion, or otherwise obtain face coverings and wear them when they are in a public and are: 

  • within six feet of distance from other individuals; or 
  • in a situation or setting where they are unable to maintain six feet of distance from other individuals; or 
  • in a public or private transportation carrier or for-hire vehicle. 

When wearing cloth face coverings in public settings, where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community transmission, you should: 

  • Make sure that they fit snugly and cover their nose and mouth. 
  • Be changed frequently and laundered when they are soiled or wet. 
  • Not become complacent with other protective measures.
  • Do not touch the cloth covering or face.
  • Continue to be vigilant with thorough and frequent hand washing with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer of 60%+ alcohol. 
  • Practice respiratory etiquette and cover your coughs or sneezes. 
  • Practice social distancing – even when wearing masks. 
  • Stay home and help flatten the curve! 

While cloth face coverings may not prevent the wearer from becoming infected, they might help slow spread from people who have the virus and are unaware.

State guidance also recommends that everyone should:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before you eat.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Keep a distance of at least 6 feet to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and discard it in a closed container.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.

All businesses in New York State will be required to develop their own safety plans before reopening, in alignment with Governor Cuomo’s NY Forward Plan.  While plans do not have to be submitted to New York State for approval, they must be retained on the premises of the business and be made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection. 

Phase One includes the following industries: 

  • Construction
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
  • Retail – (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale Trade

Safety plan templates are available by visiting and guidance and resources specific to Ulster County can be found at

There are currently 1,689 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 74 fatalities in Ulster County. 

For additional information about COVID-19 visit:

Ulster County COVID-19 Hotline: 845-443-8888

845-443-8888 NYS Coronavirus Information Hotline: 888-364-3065