FAQs

 

In response to increased rates of COVID-19 transmission in certain states within the United States, and to protect New York’s successful containment of COVID-19, the State has joined with New Jersey and Connecticut in jointly issuing a travel advisory for anyone returning from travel to states that have a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19.  The travel advisory requires that anyone coming to New York from an affected state will fill out the Traveler Health Form and quarantine for 14 days, under monitoring by State and local contact tracers.  Essential employees may conduct essential business, but will be required to quarantine when not at work.

Travelers arriving from an affected state who will be in New York for less than 14 days but more than 24 hours (specifically while traveling through the state) will be required to quarantine for the time that they are in New York.  A negative COVID-19 test result does not release travelers from the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

For a current list of states affected by the travel advisory and for detailed information on quarantine measures and exceptions, please visit the State’s website on the Travel Advisory.  To file a complaint about non-compliance with the Travel Advisory, please fill out the NY on PAUSE complaint form.

There are several options for people who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 listed under Employment Resources in our virtual center.

Additionally, the Ulster County Office of Employment and Training is available to help with questions or assistance with unemployment benefits and offers programs for job seekers and employers, including job training and interview skills and local employment opportunities.  Call them at 845-340-3170 and visit the Career Center.

For businesses experiencing financial impacts from COVID-19, the Ulster County Department of Economic Development is available and ready to help our local businesses face these challenging times.  Please call 845-340-3556 or email OED@co.ulster.ny.us with your concerns and questions.

The RSC Fellows at the Recovery Service Center are available Monday-Friday, 8a-5p, and til 7p on Mondays and Fridays, to help talk through State and local guidance.  Call 845-443-8888.

People can donate blood for the State convalescent plasma program by registering online here.

 

CDC guidance indicates that community transmission of COVID-19 can occur when people are asymptomatic.  Therefore, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

Effective April 15, 2020, employees will be required to wear face masks when they are in direct contact with customers/members of the public and requires employers, at their expense, to provide face masks to all employees. Enforcement of this order can be done by local government or local law enforcement under Public Health Law section 12 or 12-b.

Effective April 17, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order requiring any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance, including on public transportation.

For an evaluation of the most effective style of masks, see this study.

If people are having trouble coping, need practical support, or just need to talk things through, Family of Woodstock has a 24/7 hotline. Call or text 845-679-2485 for more information and support.

NYS has set up a COVID Mental Health Hotline, staffed by over 6,000 MH professionals, where people can access online or telephone therapy to cope with the stress and anxiety of isolation. Call 844-863-9314.

It may take up to 7 days or more to get your test results back. Patients should follow up with whomever ordered the test. In some cases, health care facilities offer patient portal access to test results. Check the paperwork given to you upon testing to see if this is an option.

Physicians can follow up through their established channels with the labs.

The only documentation currently being provided by the Ulster County Department of Health (DOH) are mandatory quarantine orders, which are provided in writing. If the person is scheduled to receive written orders, they will be contacted by DOH.

If the DOH determines that an individual can be released from quarantine, that release will be delivered verbally via phone call. If documentation is required, it will be emailed.

Employers may accept a letter from a primary care physician indicating an employee’s need to self-quarantine. For employees looking to apply for Paid Leave, a doctor’s letter attesting to a patient having met the State’s criteria is required.  The COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Hotline is available at 844-337-6303.

Yes! The Ulster County Recovery Service Center has an initial call menu in Spanish as well as hotline agents who speak Spanish.  When these agents are not available (on another call or after hours), the hotline will accept a voice mail and a Spanish-speaking agent will return the call as soon as they’re available.

County Executive Pat Ryan has created a new unit to exclusively review tenant complaints related to COVID-19. The COVID-19 Tenant Protection Unit, staffed by members of the Ulster County Public Defender’s Office, will assure that tenants’ rights are being protected through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “New York on Pause” order, which put all commercial or residential eviction under a 90-day moratorium.  The COVID-19 Tenant Protection Unit will serve as a liaison between the tenant and appropriate law enforcement jurisdiction, the State Attorney General, building inspectors and landlords, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, and other government resources to help protect tenants from illegal evictions. To make a tenant complaint, please visit the online form.

Visit the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office website for help with emergencies which need 24 hour response. (Eg. if someone is evicted because of COVID)

For non-emergencies, first read the lease to find relevant sections. Second, have a productive conversation with the landlord and negotiate agreeable terms. (Suggest that appraisals be pushed off for one month).

The Governor’s moratorium on evictions has been extended.  However, courts are open for eviction proceedings and a tenant must establish that his/her failure to pay rent stems from COVID-related financial hardship in order to avoid eviction.

The primary indicators of COVID-19 are fever, shortness of breath, cough, history of travel to a highly affected area, or direct exposure to someone who has been diagnosed.  Secondary symptoms of COVID-19, like fatigue, body aches, cough, and worsening symptoms, could be the flu.

New York State has aggressively expanded COVID-19 diagnostic testing capacity. Beginning July 1st, testing is available to all New Yorkers statewide.

If you wish to be tested, reach out to your medical provider, view test site options in Ulster County at our virtual center, or call the Recovery Service Center at (845) 443-8888 for more information.

The latest guidelines state that patients undergoing testing for COVID-19 should self-quarantine until they receive a COVID-19 test result.

HOWEVER, persons with a negative COVID-19 test result should CONTINUE TO SELF-QUARANTINE for 14 days after test sample was taken or last exposure.

If COVID-19 testing results are positive, medical providers are asked to notify the Ulster County Health Department via fax to 845-340-3162.

Self-quarantine is not the same as quarantine. Quarantine is the designation by the Department of Health of a person who is being investigated/monitored for COVID-19 and involves written quarantine orders which are served to the patient.

MANDATORY QUARANTINE generally applies to:

  • Patients who are COVID-19 positive (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic).
  • Anyone who has had close contact (< 6 ft) with someone who is COVID-19 Positive.
  • Anyone who has traveled to CDC Level 2 or 3 Health Alert countries and are displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

SELF-QUARANTINE applies to:

  • Patients waiting for test results.
  • Persons who have had indirect contact (contact with someone who had contact with a COVID-19 patient) and self-monitoring for symptoms.

For further clarification, please refer to your own doctor or to the State’s website or the NYS Coronavirus Hotline: 888-364-3065.

The County is updating the public through press releases, press conferences, official County social media accounts, and interacting with the public directly through our virtual center and Recovery Service Center at 845-443-8888. Please use these channels to stay up to date.

Please keep in mind that statements on unofficial social media accounts and discussion of rumors diverts resources that could be otherwise used for stemming the spread of COVID-19.

When the public health nurses at the Ulster County Department of Health learn of a positive case of COVID-19, that individual is placed under mandatory quarantine and asked to contact anyone they may have exposed to inform them of that risk. The Ulster County contact tracing team is contacting people who are direct contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19.

Anyone who has been exposed to a COVID+ patient should self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms and be in touch with a medical provider.  The ideal time to be tested after exposure is around 5 days, and testing capacity has been increased throughout New York State and Ulster County.

The Governor announced that based on each region’s infection rate, schools across New York State are permitted to open this fall but each school district must have a testing and tracing plan and will decide if an in-person v. hybrid model works best for them while following strict Department of Health Guidance.

Callers can look up their district’s re-opening plans on their school district website.  Links to each Ulster County school district website can be found on the County’s virtual center.

Ulster County school districts are continuing their food programs.  Please refer to your local school district here for more information.

Students and faculty returning from currently impacted regions and states affected by the State’s travel advisory are required by the State Department of Health to be under precautionary quarantine for 14 days upon return. See the State’s website for exceptions.

Public health experts agree large gatherings with people making sustained close contact are a place where the novel coronavirus can easily infect many people quickly and continue its spread.  Even while New York State begins to reopen, these basic safety measures are as important today as they were on day one when the Governor issued the New York State On Pause Executive Order:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water; use hand sanitizer if water is not available.
  • Wear a face covering when you are in public and cannot stay 6 feet apart from others.
  • Avoid large groups.  Gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed in Phase Four in the regional reopening.  (Up to 25 for Phases Two and Three; up to 10 for Phase One.)
  • Stay home if you are sick.

Travel, Large Gatherings, and Quarantines

Social Gatherings: Are only permitted if 10 or fewer people are in attendance in Phase One regions, 25 or fewer people are in attendance in Phases Two and Three regions, and 50 or fewer people are in attendance in Phase Four regions. Check to see what phase your region is in.

Masks & Face Coverings: Individuals must wear face coverings 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.

Read in further detail the Executive Order to allow gatherings of fifty (50) or fewer individuals for any lawful purpose or reason, and provided further that social distancing, face covering, and cleaning and disinfection protocols required by the Department of Health are adhered to. This order has been extended by additional Executive Order.

The State has a helpful website dedicated to re-opening guidance called NY Forward.  Here, you can find information on phased, regional re-opening, industry guidance, as well as a lookup tool to determine which businesses are eligible for re-opening under which circumstances in the region. (Use the business’ NAICS code.) There’s a template form for business safety plans, which both reopening and essential business owners are expected to fill out and keep on the premises, and which must be made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.

For the latest business updates please visit: covid19.ulstercountyny.gov/businesses

Ulster County Department of Economic Development is available and ready to help our local businesses face these challenging times.  Reach out at (845) 340-3556.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, regularly clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces. Procedures and supplies should be in place to encourage proper hand and respiratory hygiene, and to avoid close contact with people who are sick. Encourage people to stay home when they are sick. Employers may discuss opportunities for employees to work at home for a period of time.

In addition, the CDC recommends the following:  “If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The fellow employees should then self-monitor for symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath).”

Due to privacy and confidentiality laws, the County will not disclose personally identifiable information regarding suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Local law enforcement, emergency responders, and other agencies looking for PPE and other resources must deplete their stock to an estimated 10-day supply and show that they are unable to re-supply through normal suppliers. If your agency needs specific supplies or resources, you can submit your request to the Ulster County Emergency Operations Center by email to eoc@co.ulster.ny.us.

Businesses can find wholesale reopening supplies here.

To donate supplies, email covid19supplies@esd.ny.gov AND nys-midhudson@esd.ny.gov indicating what you can do, company name, contact person and info, and the critical supplies/equipment you think your company could produce and what you need to do this.

Ulster County customer services and departments have experienced closings and limited access to the public due to the State’s NY on Pause orders and the COVID-19 pandemic. As the County, in concert with the Mid-Hudson Region, implements the State’s phased re-opening plans, County services will gradually expand public access. The latest County customer service updates can be found here.

The Ulster County DMV reopened on June 22nd and is accepting appointments.

For UCAT updates to service routes, find that here.

The best thing for people to do right now to help stem the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a mask when out in public, practice social distancing and regular hand and respiratory hygiene, and isolate from other members of your household when sick.

For companies interested in donating supplies, email covid19supplies@esd.ny.gov AND nys-midhudson@esd.ny.gov indicating what you can do, company name, contact person and info, and the critical supplies/equipment you think your company could produce and what you need to do this.

People can donate blood to the State convalescent plasma program by signing up online.

Because the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, it is recommended that people practice social distancing: maintain a 6-foot distance from each other when in group settings, stay home and avoid contact with others, and avoid group settings and public transportation when possible.

The CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Effective April 17, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order requires all people in New York to wear a mask or a face covering when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained, such as on public transportation.

NYS is increasing the maximum fine for violations of the State’s social distancing protocol to $1,000 to help address lack of adherence.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. People are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic (the sickest). That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others. More recently the virus has also been detected in asymptomatic persons.

For more information on treatment of COVID-19, contact a medical professional.

In December 2019, a new respiratory disease called Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was detected in China. COVID-19 is caused by a virus (SARS-CoV-2) that is part of a large family of viruses called coronaviruses.

The U.S. reported the first confirmed instance of person-to-person spread with this virus on January 30, 2020. New York confirmed its first cases of person-to-person spread with this virus March 3, 2020.

While some individuals ill with the virus may be asymptomatic or have mild illness, older individuals and people with underlying health conditions, have shown greater susceptibility to the virus and can experience more serious illness and outcomes.  Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by the virus.

The incubation period of the virus is between 2-14 days, so many public health recommendations are in alignment with that time frame.

There is currently no cure or vaccine for this virus, and it is thought to be transmitted easily between people through respiratory droplets in the air.  It has been found that some people can exhibit no symptoms of COVID-19 but spread the disease, called Silent Spreaders.  Vaccines are under development, but none as yet have been finalized or approved.

For the latest updates on New York State policies and mandates, please visit the State’s website.

For more about the virus, tracking, and to fact check what you’ve heard, read the latest CDC guidelines.


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