Public Health

Health: testing, insurance, hospitals, compliance, PPE related articles. 

How to Schedule A Coronavirus Test At Suffolk County Site Now
Suffolk County's first mobile test site for coronavirus is accepting appointments — but not everyone is eligible. To make an appointment, call 1-888-364-3065 and callers will be asked a series of questions by a nurse to determine if a test is appropriate.
 
Drive-Through Testing Facilities Opening In Nassau, Suffolk
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at a daily news briefing in Albany on Tuesday, March 17 that the second, and third “drive-through” novel coronavirus testing centers are being set up in Nassau and Suffolk counties this week.

Monroe County to begin at-home COVID-19 testing for people who contacted infected person
The Monroe County Department of Public Health announced on 3/18 that it will deploy "strike teams" to perform at-home COVID-19 testing. The teams, which consist of two state-certified medical professionals and one driver, will be testing individuals who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Tompkins County Opens New COVID-19 Testing Center to Replace Drive-Through Location 
In order to accommodate the drastic local uptick in demand for virus testing, the county will open a new, expanded sampling location in Ithaca. At the testing site, residents will be directed by a combination of signs at the testing center and instructions made available via radio at FM 96.3. Following testing, individuals are mandated to enter home isolation as they await test results, which will take approximately a week. 
 
Westchester County Center to Become Temporary Hospital 
With the amount of hospital space quickly running amid the COVID-19 crisis, construction will begin to convert the Westchester County Center into a temporary hospital. Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “We always figured the County Center would be an ideal place for this." 
 
Delaware County Department of Emergency Services posts COVID-19 Viability From the New England Journal of Medicine. 
This helpful infographic gives information about how long the virus can remain dangerous on various surfaces.  
 
Coronavirus special enrollment period for qualified health plans runs from March 16 to April 15 
The St. Lawrence County Health Initiative wants to ensure that residents have access to insurance that provides cost-free COVID-19 testing, across all insurance types. SLCHI Navigators are adhering to St. Lawrence County Public Health's guidance of social distancing and are available by phone to answer questions and, in some cases, assist with completing applications over the phone.
 
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.
 
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.
 
Erie County creates interactive COVID-19 map 
Erie County's Department of Environment and Planning created a heat map to provide up-to-date information about the location of confirmed COVID-19 cases within the county. County Executive Mark Poloncarz cautioned that the virus is much more widespread than the number of confirmed cases suggest. The map can be found at erie.gov/covidmapErie County creates interactive COVID-19 map 
 
Ulster mobile test site coming by Monday 
Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said that the county expects to open its first mobile testing facility for COVID-19 by Monday, March 23rd at the latest. The mobile testing site will help ramp up testing in the county. 
 
Cayuga Health and Tompkins County Open New COVID-19 Sampling Center in Ithaca 
Additionally, 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.
 
Lewis County Public Health Posts Q&A About the Call First Clinic 
Lewis County Public Health department hosted a Facebook Live Q&A about COVID-19 with a health department doctor. 
 
Suffolk County creates blue tent testing site 
Last week, Suffolk County emergency services personnel constructed a blue tent at Stony Brook University to help with the drive-through #COVID19 testing site. The site can house 20 patients. Testing is available by appointment only.
 
Bello announces 4-part Surge Capacity Plan for local hospitals' COVID-19 efforts 
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and health officials in the community announced the detailed of the “Surge Capacity Plan” for local hospitals on Friday. 
 
Erie County, NY Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Interactive Map 
Erie County's Department of Environment and Planning created a heat map to provide up-to-date information about the location of confirmed COVID-19 cases within the county. County Executive Mark Poloncarz cautioned that the virus is much more widespread than the number of confirmed cases suggest.  

New York City constructs additional field hospitals 
Mayor Bill de Blasio: “We're transforming the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center into a hospital to help combat COVID-19.  I look forward to the day it will be a place for tennis again — but I'm so inspired by the team here for stepping up immediately to help us get this done.” 

Ulster County Opens Second Mobile Testing Sites 
This week, County Executive Pat Ryan announced information about Ulster County’s second drive-through mobile COVID-19 testing site located at Ellenville Regional Hospital. The new location will be open five days a week and will continue to increase testing capacity in Ulster County. Last week, County Executive Ryan announced the opening of a drive-through test site, which tested over 600 people in its first week of operation. 

Broome County promotes safe use of public parks 
Broome County Parks Director Elizabeth Woidt said the county has closed all park playgrounds by fencing and roping them off and hanging signs. All volleyball and soccer nets have been removed, as well. County employees have been keeping an eye on all parks; if they notice people congregating in groups of more than 10, they ask them to spread out and following social distancing guidelines. The County will continue to monitor attendance and make any necessary changes to ensure the safety of both staff and park patrons. 
 
Schuyler County officials make request to visitors during COVID-19 crisis: Stay home, keep everyone safe  
Schuyler County Public Health Director Deborah Minor alerted any visitor to follow the same precautions set forth for all community members: 
• Stay home as much as possible. 
• If you must go out into our community, practice social distancing by maintaining six feet from one another. 
• If you are ill, isolate yourself and call your healthcare provider. 
• Wash your hands often. 
• If you have symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, seek testing. 
 
Chemung County unveils interactive COVID-19 map 
Chemung County has unveiled an interactive map displaying the locations of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county. The map can be accessed here. 

Cortland County creates COVID-19 impact planning database 
Cortland County has created a ESRI Explore County-level Coronavirus Impact Planning searchable database, which presents a demographic data snapshot of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in relation to hospital bed counts, population and businesses, and categories of people at risk for COVID-19 in infographic form for each one of the nation’s counties. By clicking on each statistical icon, users can learn more about the supporting data. COVID-19 related data is updated daily.  

Chautauqua County Provides Daily COVID-19 Updates and New Map 
Every day, Chautauqua County provides a written update on the number of COVID cases in the county, the number of people who have received isolation and quarantine orders, and other important announcements. On March 31, the County announced an online mapping tool to display data about positive COVID-19 cases.  The information will be divided by the four fire battalions in the County and will be updated regularly.   

Monroe County Health Commissioner encourages residents to quit smoking  
Dr. Mike Mendoza: “If you smoke, now is a good time to quit. With the #COVID19 peak weeks away in Monroe County, quitting now will allow your lungs to recover some infection-fighting capability and perhaps decrease your susceptibility to viral infections. For more info: https://nysmokefree.com
 
New coronavirus test comes from Monroe County 
A new test designed to help doctors fight the spread of coronavirus is ready to launch, and it’s being manufactured in Monroe County. The blood-based test allows researchers to look for antibodies, which would indicate if a person was exposed to the virus, and recovered from it.  The tests are being manufactured at OCD’s “Ortho Global Center of Excellence for R&D” in Rochester. 

Steuben County Public Health Department recognized for Public Health Awareness Week  
“There may be no better time than National Public Health Awareness Week, which begins on 4/6, to recognize the members of the Steuben County Public Health department. They are on the front lines in the current battle against COVID-19 -- coordinating vital information from federal, state, county and municipal sources and reporting the facts that make you and yours safer. Those efforts are front and center now -- but Steuben Public Health does so much more throughout the year -- clinics, training, working with partner agencies, families, babies and countless behind-the-scenes work to make this county a safer place... You can show your support and appreciation for their strenuous efforts by staying home.” 

Oswego County Health Officials in Video Series Premiere: 'We Knew This Day Would Come." 
In a video message, Dr. Liepke, Medical Director for the Oswego County Health Department, teamed up with Jamie Leszczynski, Senior Director of Communications for Oswego Health, to discuss the challenges that people are facing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Oswego County presents videos highlighting various COVID-19 topics on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They are scheduled to be posted by 4:30 p.m. on Oswego County’s COVID-19 YouTube playlist, Facebook and the county government website at oswegocounty.com. 

The Message Hasn't Changed for St. Lawrence Public Health Director: Wash Your Hands 
One week after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in St. Lawrence County, Public Health Director Dana O. McGuire is offering the same advice. “As I have been saying for weeks, hand hygiene, cough hygiene, don’t go out if you are sick,” Ms. McGuire said. “Clean and disinfect and those two words are very different. You have to clean a surface first, take the dirt off, and then disinfect. And, stay home.” 

Livingston County “Ask the Doctor” YouTube Live Session 4/14 1pm
Livingston County leaders are hosting an "Ask the Doctor" COVID-19 YouTube Live session on Tuesday, April 14th at 1PM. COVID-19-related questions can be sent to info@co.livingston.ny.us by 11AM on April 14th.
 
Ryan to add needed hospital beds at Tech City 
Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan plans on developing a temporary hospital at the former Bank of America building at Tech City in the Town of Ulster. Ryan made the announcement during a Facebook session with Kingston Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Padalino.

Montgomery County introduces new self-swab testing site for COVID-19
A treatment developed by a Schoharie County researcher that’s shown effectiveness against COVID-19 is days away from entering an important clinical trial that could be the next step forward.