The New York State Department of Health is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) case investigation and contact tracing guidance, which focuses on providing information to those who tested positive most recently and those who may have close contacts in sensitive settings.

To learn what to do if you test positive for COVID-19, are exposed to COVID-19, and your responsibilities when it comes to isolation and quarantine, visit the New York State Department of Health’s website on contact tracing for definitions, documentation, and answers to your frequently asked questions.

For a visual guide on quarantine or isolation duration, whether to attend school or work, and testing, see the New York State Department of Health’s guidance.

Visit our Vaccination Resource Center, where you will find vaccine-specific FAQs.

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, 9:30a-4:30p, to help talk through State and local guidance.  Call 845-443-8888.

On June 15th, 2021, Governor Cuomo announced that COVID-19 restrictions are lifted for commercial settings.  However, unvaccinated individuals continue to be responsible for wearing masks, in accordance with federal CDC guidance. Consistent with the State’s implementation of the recent CDC guidance, masks are still required for unvaccinated individuals.

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.

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.

Isolation (for those who have tested positive for COVID-19) and quarantine (for those who have been in close contact – within 6 feet for 10 minutes – with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19) orders are provided in writing by the Ulster County Department of Health (DOH).

For documentation, visit the New York State Department of Health’s website on contact tracing.

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, or direct exposure to someone who has been diagnosed.  Secondary symptoms of COVID-19, like fatigue, body aches, cough, and worsening symptoms, could also be the flu.  A diagnostic test for COVID-19 is a good way to know for sure.  Find local testing locations here.

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.

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.

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.

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 for this virus, but there are treatments.  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 (asymptomatic) but spread the disease.  Vaccines have been authorized for use and, beginning January 2021, Ulster County launched a vaccination program in concert with requirements and using allocations from New York State.

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.