Supervisors ready with COVID-19 Task Force


By Patsy Nicosia

As the number of cases in New York State continues to climb, Schoharie County has created a COVID-19 Task Force to put together a plan for dealing with the flu-like virus should the situation worsen.
No cases of COVID-19—Novel Coronavirus—have been reported locally, though according to the Health Department, two residents self-quarantined “based exclusively on their travel history.
“They were monitored by the Schoharie County Department of Health during their 14-day quarantine. They had no symptoms of COVID-19 and have now completed their quarantine period.”
Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Federice of Conesville stressed there’s no need to panic; the COVID-19 Task Force, which includes members from Public Health, EMS, and the Sheriff’s Office, is an effort to be proactive and “on top of the situation,” he said Sunday.
“We’re just acting out of an overabundance of caution.”
Much as members would do in preparing for any emergency, Mr. Federice said the Task Force will be pulling together policies and procedures, identifying overlap and making sure there’s a plan for a variety of scenarios should there be confirmed COVID-19 cases or should the situation worsen.
“How do we decontaminate an ambulance if it transports someone with the coronavirus to the hospital? How do we decontaminate our own building? What about the schools? There are a lot of things to look at and we want to be prepared,” Mr. Federice said.
“What about our elderly populations? If this thing does become a problem, it’s going to have a ripple effect.”
The Task Force began working over the weekend and expects to make a report to a supervisors’ oversight committee, possibly as soon as Friday.
“My number one goal is to assure people that we’re on top of this,” Mr. Federice added. “We’re getting procedures in place. I can’t stress enough that there’s no reason to panic. We’re going to be completely transparent with this. We have nothing to hide.”
Once the Task Force completes its report, it will be posted on the county website.
Over the weekend, the number of reported coronavirus cases reported in New York State had grown to 142, a 35 percent one-day increase over Sunday’s 105 reported cases.
Most are downstate, though there are two confirmed cases in Saratoga County.
COVID-19 can cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms including cough, fever, trouble breathing, and pneumonia.
The American College of Physicians and the Center for Disease Control advise basic precautions including thorough handwashing, avoiding people who are sick, and covering coughs and sneezes.
Anyone who is sick should stay home, consider using face masks, disinfect regularly, and contact their doctor’s office if their respiratory symptoms worsen.