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Greene County COVID-19 cases double from 2 to 4

CATSKILL — Greene County has four confirmed cases of COVID-19, county officials said Friday.
In an unprecedented action, the Greene County Legislature warned people trying to get away from the illness in the southern parts of the state not to come to Greene County because every new case strains the county’s limited health care resources.
“Travel into Greene County from any area at this time is inadvisable and is highly discouraged,” the Legislature said.
None of the four confirmed cases originated in Greene County, lawmakers said.

“We are responding with measures to proactively reduce further exposure as it impacts our limited resources,” the Legislature said in a lengthy emergency statement. “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 coronavirus pandemic has impacted New York state, which is responding with all its resources to contain a growing number of cases, which includes more than 8,310 confirmed cases, and 42, the Legislature said.

“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,” the Legislature said.
Medical care systems in Greene County are limited, lawmaker said.
“Greene County is a large rural county with no hospital. There is no hospital in Greene County,” lawmakers said. “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.”
Moreover, most of Greene County’s small businesses are closed, services are strained and grocery stores, which remain open to the public, are experiencing a reduction of basic supplies. Grocery store hours of operation were modified to keep up with the demand for food and supplies.
The Legislature issued restrictions that travelers and visitors are mandated to follow:

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.
n Don’t have an expectation that resources will be available to you here that are not available to you in your hometown. Greene County has a limited number of health care resources, and testing capacity is also limited.

Don’t violate the executive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 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 health care, public health, public safety and government. Help may not be available to you if you become in need of medical attention.

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 health care provider with questions, or use the links provided below.

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.
n Don’t go to unnecessary appointments.

Don’t utilize local health care 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 health care provider is your best choice.
n Don’t go to the hospital or doctor’s office without calling first — in any situation, sick or not. Access to health care facilities is heavily restricted due to the pandemic in order to limit continued spread of coronavirus.

Don’t hug, kiss or otherwise touch anyone who is not your immediate family.
n 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.

Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your arm, then wash your hands. Avoid touching your face.
n Limit social activities to your family only. This includes all activities involving contact with other persons outside of the home.
n Enjoy the outdoors, but maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people.

If you or a family member have a fever, persistent cough or shortness of breath, isolate yourself or them and call your health care provider.

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