1st Ulster County Resident Tests Positive for Coronavirus
Update: 4 p.m.
Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan identified the man as a middle-aged man from the town of Rochester. The man lives on his own and it doesn't appear he made any contact with any local schools or young people, according to Ryan. The man went to HealthAlliance Hospital Broadway Campus and is now being quarantined at his home. His condition is improving. A family member has been "proactively" quarantined but hasn't presented any symptoms. As of now, no events in Ulster County have been canceled. Seven other residents are being monitored
The coronavirus has officially spread to its third county in the Hudson Valley.
On Sunday morning, officials in Ulster County were told by the New York State Health Department that an Ulster County resident has received a ‘presumptive positive’ result for novel coronavirus, COVID-19, according to Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan.
The Ulster County resident recently traveled internationally to France, officials say. He drove himself to the hospital after experiencing coronavirus symptoms where test samples were taken and he was immediately placed into quarantine, officials say. Officials didn't say where in Ulster County the man lives.
"We have been preparing for this contingency for the last several weeks and I am confident in our ability to respond quickly and comprehensively to ensure public health and safety. As a first step, we are activating the Ulster County Emergency Operation Center as well as deploying Health Department staff to focus solely on community mitigation efforts. Public Health officials have already begun interviewing this individual to assess who he may have come into contact with and will notify those individuals. We will continue to update the public to ensure full transparency as the situation develops," Ryan said.
Ryan reiterated that anyone experiencing a fever, with cough or shortness of breath should contact the Ulster County Health Department at 845-340-3150 or, if symptoms are severe, call 911. For general questions about coronavirus please call the New York State Department of Health at 1-888-364-3065.
On Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 16 more new coronavirus cases in New York, bringing the total to 105 in the Empire State. There are now 82 confirmed cases in Westchester County, two in Rockland County, one in Ulster County, 12 in New York City, two in Saratoga County and three from Long Island.
"We are continuing to test people and are working with hospitals and local governments to give them the resources they need to contain the spread of this virus," Cuomo said during a Sunday briefing. "We mobilized quickly but the federal government has been slow off the mark and they continue to be slow. That's unacceptable - we need them to approve these private labs today so we can stay ahead of this evolving situation. Worse than the virus right now is the fear pandemic - and getting these additional facilities online will ensure we have more facts that will help keep people calm."
On Saturday, Cuomo declared a state of emergency. The state of emergency declaration allows, among other things:
- Expedited procurement of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and other essential resources
- Allowing qualified professionals other than doctors and nurses to conduct testing
- Expedited procurement of testing supplies and equipment
- Expedited personnel onboarding
- Expedited leasing of lab space
- Allowing EMS personnel to transport patients to quarantine locations other than just hospitals
- Providing clear basis for price gouging and enforcement investigation
"Westchester is an obvious problem for us," Cuomo said during the press conference early Saturday afternoon. "They talk about the contagion in clusters and then clusters tend to infect more and more people. So obviously you want to pay special attention to those situations."
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