Legislature Chairman Patrick S. Linger
411 Main Street
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2020 (Updated March 23, 2020)
A Message to Our Visitors, Weekenders and Second Homeowners
Catskill, NY – The Greene County Legislature is echoing a statement made by our neighboring government officials in Delaware and Sullivan Counties by issuing the following statement:
Greene County currently has six confirmed cases of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) and is responding with measures to proactively reduce further exposure as it impacts our limited resources. While you may be seeking refuge from the larger amount of cases downstate, you must be aware that this is a global pandemic. You and your family have a critical role to fulfill in halting the rapid spread of this potentially deadly virus, which can be dangerous and even fatal to the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has impacted New York State, which is responding with all resources to contain a growing number of cases, which includes more than 15,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and multiple deaths. Greene County has four confirmed cases, none of which originated from within the county. However, the number of exposures will increase with movement into the area from other parts of the state and country, requiring a large amount of resources by Public Health, first responders, health care providers and other government personnel to contain and limit further transmission. Greene County is a large rural county with NO hospital! There is no hospital in Greene County. This limits our ability to serve a large number of people requiring higher levels of care for COVID-19 patients and other illnesses. These facts mean any additional needs presented at our surrounding hospitals will tax our medical care system beyond its capacity. While the County’s emergency services and responders are currently operating at full capacity, it’s important we also don’t stretch their capacity.
Additionally, as a rural County most small businesses are closed, services are severely strained and grocery stores, while still open to the public, are experiencing a reduction of some basic supplies. Grocery store hours of operations are being modified to keep up with the demand for food and supplies.
A vaccine does not yet exist, and the effectiveness of existing treatment varies from person to person. Travel into Greene County from any area at this time is inadvisable and is highly discouraged.
If you do make your way here, you are expected to adhere to the following:
- Please DON’T travel here from another county or geographic area (including Westchester County and the five boroughs of New York City) which is experiencing community transmission of COVID-19. It is far better for you to stay home and limit your movements.
- Please DON’T have an expectation that resources will be available to you here that are not available to you in your home town. Greene County has a limited number of healthcare resources, and testing capacity is also very limited.
- Please DON’T violate the Executive Order issued by the Governor of New York State. Congregations of more than 50 persons are a direct violation of this Order. Should large numbers of individuals move up to Greene County while COVID-19 community transmission is occurring, it will quickly overwhelm the healthcare, public health, public safety and government. Help may not be available to you if you become in need of medical attention.
- Please DON’T call Greene County Public Health Services. For general information including testing please call the Greene County Call Center at 518-635-5165. If it is a life-threatening emergency, dial 911. Otherwise, contact the State Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065, call your own healthcare provider with questions, or use the links provided below.
- Please DON’T constantly go out in public spaces. If you haven’t brought with you everything you need for your stay, get the remaining items in one shopping trip and then stay close to your property.
- Please DON’T go to unnecessary appointments.
- Please DON’T utilize local healthcare providers unless you absolutely have to. They are deeply impacted by this current crisis and cannot be expected to handle an enormous increase in patient requests. Your own healthcare provider is your best choice.
- Please DON’T go to the hospital or doctor’s office without calling first – in ANY situation, sick or not. Access to healthcare facilities is heavily restricted due to the pandemic, in order to limit continued spread of coronavirus.
- Please DON’T hug, kiss or otherwise touch anyone who is not your immediate family.
- Please DO wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water. Make sure your family does this, as well. If soap is not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Please DO cough and sneeze into a tissue or your arm, then wash your hands. Avoid touching your face.
- Please DO limit social activities to your family only. This includes all activities involving contact with other persons outside of the home.
- Please DO enjoy the outdoors, but maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people.
- Please DO, if you or a family member have a fever, persistent cough or shortness of breath, isolate yourself or them and call your healthcare provider.