Open Letter to the Community on the Anniversary of the First COVID-19 Case in Ulster County from County Executive Ryan

Tomorrow, March 8th marks one year since Ulster County had its first confirmed case of COVID-19

“March 8th marks one year since Ulster County was notified of our first case of COVID-19. What followed that day was a year of challenge and crisis, but it also highlighted our resilience and sense of community. Sadly, we have lost over 200 of our neighbors and loved ones to this horrific virus and the heart-wrenching reality is that, although we have made great progress, we’re still very much in it. 

Yet, as I reflect back on the last year since our first case of coronavirus, I also remember the remarkable ways in which our community has rallied and supported one another. Just days after the pandemic hit, we mobilized and organized the growing sea of goodwill in the county and launched Project Resilience. We delivered nearly half a million meals to residents in need, and kept the doors open at over 100 local restaurants, all through the support of volunteers and community donations. A small business owner went from altering prom dresses to making cloth masks for frontline workers, students at SUNY New Paltz worked countless hours throughout the night to produce face shields with 3D printers, distilleries stopped making alcohol and instead provided hand sanitizer to first responders during a mass shortage, and so much more.  

Led by our values, I am so proud of the resilience of our community and know that we will continue to support each other through the next chapter of this crisis. As we have begun to turn the page on the virus, my optimism builds with each vaccine dose we administer and we will continue to work to ensure all of our friends, family, and neighbors will have equitable access to the vaccine. 

One year later, we remember those community members who we have lost to this virus and honor their lives. We will continue to respond to the compounded impacts of this crisis by ensuring no one is left behind in the wake of the devastation that this pandemic has created. I am thankful for every resident who has rallied in support of our collective community during this year of unprecedented challenges. Like our response in the early days of the pandemic, we will get through this exceptionally challenging period together as one Ulster County community tapping into our collective compassion, ingenuity, and sense of resilience.