News

COVID-19 Blog: Counties Innovating in Response to COVID-19 Vol. 4

Daily catalog of counties finding innovative solutions in response to the COVID 19-pandemic.


NEW YORK CITY

New York City Police Step Up Patrols to Enforce Social Distancing
New York City will deploy police officers and workers from other government agencies to parks and playgrounds to enforce social distancing rules and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is focused on education and warnings this week. If that approach does not work, authorities could impose tougher restrictions, such as potential sanctions and the closure of playgrounds.

New York City implements virtual court proceedings
As New York City continues to calibrate court operations to meet the continually challenging and changing operational environment, the court system remains open for business, maintaining essential and emergency operations. In order to help reduce the spread of the virus and to further protect judges, court staff, attorneys, litigants and the public, by mid-week, essential functions of New York City Criminal Court and New York City Family Court will commence virtual operations.

LONG ISLAND

Nassau County Creates Coronavirus Economic Advisory Council
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran established a Coronavirus Economic Advisory Council to assess the countywide impact on both small and large businesses. As part of this effort, Hofstra University is supporting the County Executive and the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency in a data collection strategy to assist in addressing and mitigating the economic impacts of the pandemic. They are asking businesses and private nonprofits of any size or sector to take ten minutes and respond to a survey to assist the Council in assessing the impact of the coronavirus on their operations, finances, and employees. This information will be provided to Nassau County to inform advocacy for economic relief.

Help for Suffolk veterans during COVID-19 pandemic

During this time, Suffolk County wants to ensure veterans that services are still running. While the local VFW's are closed at this time, their commitment to helping veterans goes on. All veteran services are working remotely and can be contacted by phone or email.

Suffolk County Supply Drive nets thousands of supplies
Yesterday, Suffolk County received more than 284,000 PPE supplies from residents and businesses. The supply drive will continue M-F between 10am - 2pm at Suffolk Fire Academy. The County is also looking to expand to two new locations. If a company has any available PPE supplies, they are asked to contact FRESFinance@suffolkcountyny.gov.

HUDSON VALLEY

Putnam County: Call 2-1-1 For Coronavirus Info, 9-1-1 for Emergencies
Putnam County residents can now call the easy-to-remember 2-1-1 number for updated, non-emergent coronavirus information. 2-1-1 is a universally recognizable number that builds a critical connection, especially in times of need, between individuals and families and the appropriate community-based organizations and government agencies.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer Gives COVID-19 Update
As part of his COVID-19 update, County Executive Latimer described how the Westchester County Economic Development team is researching loans and grant programs for small business devastated by the shutdown of their businesses. The team will communicate information through local Chambers of Commerce. For more information, visit Westchester Catalyst Coronavirus Updates.

CAPITAL REGION

Albany County encourages blood donation
Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy is asking anyone who is able to please donate to the Red Cross, as they are dealing with a serious shortage of supply right now. Individuals can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to RedCrossBlood.org to set up an appointment ahead of time. Blood donation is safe and necessary to help those in need.

Saratoga County shares resources for pregnant people and their families
The Saratoga County Public Health Department shared COVID-19 guidance for people who are pregnant and their families. Due to changes that occur during pregnancy, pregnant people may be more susceptible to viral respiratory infections. The most important thing a pregnant person can do is to protect themselves from getting sick. This includes following the same guidance that is provided to people who are not pregnant.

MOHAWK VALLEY

HCCC to offer virtual information sessions
To combat the spread of the coronavirus, Herkimer County Community College is offering prospective students a way to learn about the college from home. The college is implementing two virtual information sessions, with a half-hour presentation over video chat by staff about academics, life at the school and how to apply.

Herkimer County establishes coronavirus call center
Herkimer County has established a call center with a dedicated phone line for any questions regarding COVID-19. The call center will support the County in getting information out to the public and taking pressure off of public health nurses so they can do their jobs. People can call from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays to discuss symptoms, whether or not they need to be tested, other concerns related to the virus.
 
SOUTHERN TIER

Broome County Executive Announces Donation Drop-Off Site and Closure of Public Playgrounds
County Executive Garnar announced the establishment of a new donation drop-off site for much-needed supplies at the former Macy's building at the Oakdale Mall. The site will accept only the following unused personal protective equipment: N-95 and surgical masks; medical gowns; medical plastic face shields; medical gloves; and medical shoe covers. The site will be open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. starting on Tuesday, March 24th.
Additionally, following guidance from New York State, County Executive Garnar signed an emergency order Monday closing all public playgrounds, athletic courts, and sporting fields.

CENTRAL NEW YORK

New Covid-19 screening center opens in Tompkins County
Cayuga Health (CH) and Tompkins County officials announced today that they are opening a new COVID-19 sampling center location for patients who meet screening criteria for testing to handle more widespread screening. A new website with on-line registration is available at www.cayugahealth.org for patients to review the screening criteria and pre-register before their arrival, allowing greater efficiencies with patient volume and decreased wait times. In addition, a call center has been set up for patients who may not have access to Internet, need assistance registering, or have questions.

Tompkins County DSS working to accommodate the homeless during virus outbreak
The Tompkins County Department of Social Services, along with St. John's Community Services, are working to accommodate the needs of homeless people in the community while also practicing the precautionary measures needed to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Those who typically stay at the homeless shelter are currently being housed in an alternate location. The Cold Blue population are being assisted at the homeless shelter while ensuring good social distancing practices are implemented. Additionally, outreach staff are visiting the homeless and providing information and education on COVID-19, as well as continuing to offer options for sheltering and other services. Tompkins County DSS will also continue to serve the community over phone.

Onondaga County Sheriff's Office holds coloring contest for kids
During this time of social distancing and isolation, the Onondaga County Sheriff's office is inviting children ages 5 to 15 to take part in our spring drawing /coloring contest. They can submit artwork to sherifftips@ongov.net by April 10th, 2020.

Oswego County provides regular COVID-19 updates
Oswego County is scheduled to present videos highlighting various COVID-19 topics on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. They will be posted by 4:30 p.m. on the county's COVID-19 YouTube playlist, Facebook, and the County Government website.

FINGER LAKES

Wyoming County calling on public for medical supplies
The Wyoming County Emergency Operations Center is putting out a call to the public for personal protective equipment, which is urgently needed. Officials are asking residents and businesses to donate respirators, N-95 masks, gowns, goggles and suits with liquid splash protection for healthcare workers at Wyoming County Community Health Systems. Individuals and businesses are encouraged to email OEM@wyomingco.net or call the Health Department to arrange for drop off or pick up.

Ontario County Board of Supervisors to Meet Via Webex
The Ontario County Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled for 3/26/20 at 6:30 pm will be held via Webex. All are welcome to attend the meeting via Webex or by phone. The County provides instructions for the pubic to join the meeting.

Monroe County encourages residents to complete Census while at home
County Executive Adam Bello: “Staying home gives us all the perfect opportunity to make sure Monroe County is properly counted in Census 2020 by filling out your response online. It's safe, confidential and secure. Learn more at http://2020census.gov”

WESTERN NEW YORK

County Agencies Establish COVID-19 Response Fund
With a goal of $1 million, local organizations have already raised $778,000 in an effort to support those impacted by the COVID-19 virus. Community leaders held a video conference Monday to announce and detail the purpose of the fund in response to the impact of the novel coronavirus on the surrounding community. Nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for funding through the response fund.

VIDEO: County Executive shares song for friends, near and far
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz shared a video to encourage residents not to disconnect from each other while social distancing. “While we need to practice physical distancing from each other, that doesn't mean we have to disconnect from one another,” wrote Poloncarz. “So here is another song for my friends, near and far, from Buffalo's favorite band, the Goo Goo Dolls.”

WNYCOSH Guidance for Cashiers in Retail Establishments During COVID-19 Outbreak
The Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health (WNYCOSH) is releasing guidance to improve working conditions for frontline workers while reducing the risk of community spread. WNYCOSH recognized that Wegmans has already implemented the first recommendation for businesses across all of their stores. It is important that businesses and workers follow this guidance to reduce the risks of community spread and worker exposure.

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