Putnam County Businesses Remain Committed to Safety

BREWSTER, NY‚ÄĒ¬†COVID vaccines are offering hope:¬†an¬†end¬†is in sight for¬†this¬†very difficult and¬†challenging¬†year. But¬†science¬†alone will not¬†address¬†the¬†hardships faced by so many. The local health and business community, along with Putnam residents,¬†has¬†been and continues¬†to¬†collaborate¬†in a¬†supreme¬†group effort to push back this virus.¬†Now the¬†Putnam County Economic Development Corporation¬†(EDC) and Putnam County Tourism are¬†heralding¬†local businesses¬†and their continuing efforts to stop the spread.¬†

‚ÄúIt‚Äôs requiring¬†support from all sectors,¬†and¬†our business community¬†has¬†been resourceful and committed from the very beginning,‚Ä̬†says Kathleen¬†Abels, president of Putnam County‚Äôs EDC. ‚ÄúOur local businesses have been hard hit,¬†there is no doubt about this.¬†But all realize that¬†their successes are¬†dependent upon the health of¬†the community‚ÄĒparticularly¬†staff and customers. This has¬†often¬†meant re-inventing their work¬†to¬†comply with New York State COVID-19 guidance.‚Ä̬†¬†

‚ÄúIt is important that we recognize these businesses for stepping up and working hard to adapt and survive,‚Ä̬†added Tracey Walsh,¬†director of Putnam County Tourism, who is¬†partnering¬†closely¬†with Ms.¬†Abels.¬†They will be¬†making positive signage available to businesses to affirm their commitment to help stop the spread by operating in accordance with New York State¬†COVID-19 guidance.¬†¬†¬†¬†

One¬†technically¬†innovative¬†creation¬†comes from¬†Magazzino¬†Italian Art in Cold Spring,¬†where a new device, carried throughout the museum by patrons,¬†is¬†being used¬†to¬†take the guesswork out of social distancing.¬†This device works by¬†using radio¬†waves¬†to¬†measure and maintain safe distances between visitors.¬†The museum is the first in the county to utilize¬†this ‚Äúactive tag,‚Ä̬†that¬†is used in concert with¬†contactless ticket exchange,¬†mandatory online reservations,¬†sanitation stations, temperature checks and other safety measures, as¬†the museum director helps¬†reshape how public spaces function.¬†

County Executive¬†MaryEllen¬†Odell applauded¬†the museum¬†and other¬†local businesses¬†and their leadership for perseverance¬†and ingenuity. ‚ÄúWe have a dedicated,¬†hardworking¬†business¬†community. As we¬†all have struggled as individuals, they¬†too¬†have faced difficult challenges, struggling to sustain their livelihoods.¬†We have¬†worked together and¬†come very far. The good news is we¬†now¬†can envision an end to these¬†times and a brighter future in the new year.‚Ä̬†Other¬†local¬†technology¬†and¬†customer-service improvements include¬†a widening usage of¬†mobile app ordering and curbside pick-up,¬†previously used¬†by¬†select establishments.¬†¬†

Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD,¬†Commissioner of Health at the Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH)¬†also¬†praised¬†the business community¬†noting that, ‚ÄúThese times have been¬†extraordinarily tough¬†for all of us‚ÄĒfrom our school-aged children to our seniors¬†and everyone in-between.¬†When thinking of our path forward, it is important to remember¬†the¬†strength¬†and determination of our business community.¬†The¬†owners¬†and staff¬†in our local businesses, whose¬†industry¬†and¬†living¬†has¬†been so affected, continue to show up, mask up, and persevere.¬†Together we have made¬†progress, and this could not have happened without¬†business¬†support of the¬†NYSDOH¬†directives.‚Ä̬†

‚ÄúPutnam¬†business¬†leaders¬†are striving¬†to do their part‚ÄĒnot just to comply with mandatory guidance‚ÄĒbut also¬†to¬†support one another by sharing best practices and¬†cross-promoting¬†the diverse range of businesses we have in our county,‚ÄĚ said Jennifer Maher,¬†chairwoman of the Putnam County Business Council, who has¬†also been¬†collaborating as part of the county‚Äôs business leadership corps.¬†¬†

Shawn Rogan, director of environmental¬†health¬†services at the PCDOH, who¬†ultimately¬†oversees the department‚Äôs restaurant¬†licensing program, has¬†also¬†witnessed¬†firsthand¬†the¬†work¬†of this¬†industry¬†over the past ten months. ‚ÄúI can¬†attest to the¬†extraordinary labors¬†of¬†both the¬†food establishment¬†owners and staff alike,‚ÄĚ said Mr. Rogan. ‚ÄúIt¬†has been a monumental test¬†of determination and¬†resolve¬†for these¬†entities.¬†It is something¬†I am sure echoes throughout¬†the entire business community.‚Ä̬†¬†

‚ÄúIn the end we all want the same things‚ÄĒthat really sums it up,‚ÄĚ said¬†Deputy¬†County Executive¬†Tom¬†Feighery.¬†‚ÄúWe¬†want¬†healthy¬†and safe¬†residents¬†and¬†a healthy and thriving business community. These go¬†hand in hand. Honestly,¬†it‚Äôs hard to imagine how you can have one without the other.‚Ä̬†

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services, provided directly and through collaboration, include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our county website atwww.putnamcountyny.gov; or visit our social media sites @PutnamHealthNY on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Breakdown of positive cases by towns in Putnam County 12/21/2020


COVID-19 dashboard updates for Putnam County NY will be posted on Mondays

Wishing healthy and safe celebrations for everyone during this holiday season. Please look for the COVID dashboard to be released on Mondays through early January. Thank you for continuing to mask up, wash your hands and keep your distance.

Breakdown of positive cases by towns in Putnam County 12/11/2020


Did you test positive for COVID-19?

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should stay at home and isolate from others to avoid exposure.

It could take a few days for PCDOH to receive your positive test results, even after you received a call from your doctor. This may result in a delay in the contact tracers reaching out to your contacts.

We are working through many case investigations as quickly

as possible. We ask for your patience and will reach out to

you as soon as we can.

Please tell your close contacts that you are positive so they can quarantine. Your close contacts are people you were with in the 48 hours before symptoms started or the date you were tested (whichever came first). Until you isolate, you continue to expose people close to you.

We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we continue to respond to this pandemic



The Positivity rate of COVID-19 cases continues to drastically increase.

Positivity rates of COVID-19 have continued to increase in Putnam County. During the holiday season, it is important to have celebrations with just household members to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Remember to mask up, keep your distance and wash your hands.

Breakdown of positive cases by towns in Putnam County 12/4/2020


Health Department Advises on COVID Question: Treat at Home or in Hospital?

BREWSTER, NY‚ÄĒAs Putnam County residents are set to celebrate the holidays, a resurgence of COVID sets a challenging backdrop. A key consideration for residents experiencing COVID-like symptoms, which can be either mild or severe, is determining whether they can be treated at home or they need emergency care. The Putnam County Executive and the Department of Health remind people that COVID symptoms can occur 2 to 14 days after being exposed and offers advice to help people determine the best course of action in this continuing pandemic.

‚ÄúThe holiday season is a special time for family and friends,‚ÄĚ says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. ‚ÄúWe all want to enjoy this special time while remaining safe and healthy. Knowing when‚ÄĒand how‚ÄĒto treat yourself at home safely is an important first step.‚ÄĚ

Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, explains further that, ‚ÄúMany mild COVID-like symptoms are similar to the flu and can be easily treated at home. They include fever and chills; sore throat, cough and fatigue; and muscle or body aches. A person can have nasal congestion or a runny nose as well. All of these can be treated with over-the-counter medicines. Acetaminophen for example is very effective for fever or body aches. The ill person should also take care to stay hydrated and get extra rest.‚ÄĚ

Another important part of treating someone at home requires separation from others in the home to avoid spreading any illness. Dr. Nesheiwat further emphasizes that, ‚ÄúThis means making the sick person comfortable in a different room if possible. If not, a mask and at least six feet of distance are very important.‚ÄĚ Other symptoms of mild COVID can include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and a new loss of taste or smell.

Monitoring a person’s condition is also crucial to know if their condition worsens. A thermometer should be used several times a day, and a pulse oximeter, available at drugstores is also a good idea. This small device fits over the tip of a finger and measures the oxygen level in a person’s blood.

‚ÄúPeople coping with or recovering from COVID-19 should pay attention their respiratory strength ‚ÄĒ for those able to treat their symptoms at home, daily observation of personal breathing patterns such as rhythm, rate, and quality can help to determine when or if to seek medical care. Those discharged home from a hospital may have an incentive spirometer to use as part of their pulmonary rehabilitation,‚ÄĚ says Dr. Nesheiwat. For those without a prescribed pulmonary rehabilitation regimen, Dr. Nesheiwat recommends symptomatic individuals stay in communication with their healthcare provider. ‚ÄúAny shortness of breath or difficulty breathing means immediate emergency treatment is necessary.‚ÄĚ

Other signs that demand immediate emergency attention include persistent pain or pressure in the chest, bluish lips or face, inability to wake or stay awake, and new confusion. These are signs of serious illness and a call to 911 is necessary. Warn the dispatcher if you are confirmed or suspected to have COVID.

‚ÄúWe all know these are challenging times and times we want and need to stay connected with family and friends,‚ÄĚ says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. ‚ÄúThe key has been and continues to be a community-based approach. Putnam County businesses have implemented innovative solutions to adhere to COVID safety measures and we must continue to support them and one-another as we keep Putnam safe. Additionally, the county is working to increase access to testing for our residents and the health department has a vaccine implementation plan that will follow New York State‚Äôs tiered approach to vaccination.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúEveryone seems to agree that vaccine development has worked at amazing speed,‚ÄĚ says Dr. Nesheiwat. ‚ÄúWe are expecting that they will become widely available sometime in the first half of the new year. We need to remain as strong and cautious as possible until then.‚ÄĚ

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services, provided directly and through collaboration, include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our county website at www.putnamcountyny.gov; or visit our social media sites @PutnamHealthNY on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Breakdown of positive cases by towns in Putnam County 11/27/2020


How to Combat COVID Fatigue and Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

After months of restrictions put in place to protect New York State residents from COVID-19, many people are feeling ‚Äúpandemic fatigue,‚ÄĚ especially facing the holidays ahead. The coronavirus pandemic is still going strong, and in many places resurging. It is normal to become weary of the necessary precautions to slow the spread of disease. Here is how to combat COVID fatigue and still protect yourself and your loved ones:

  • Acknowledge your feelings.
    It is normal to feel tired, frustrated, worried, mad, sad and all the other emotions in between. Let yourself feel them, write them down, talk to a loved one about them, or reach out to a mental health professional if you are struggling. The COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline is available for NYS residents and can be reached at 1-844-863-9314.
  • Reframe your thinking.
    Shift from ‚ÄėI have to stay home‚Äô to ‚ÄėI‚Äôm lucky I can stay home to protect myself and my family.‚Äô
    Treat your mask as an accessory or a way to express yourself instead of as something you have to wear.
  • Stay connected with others– distantly.
    A phone call or video call is a great way to stay connected. Although it does not replace a face-to-face conversation, technology can help us feel together when it is best to be apart.
  • Reduce stress by taking care of your physical health.
    Getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly can improve your mood and outlook. Limiting your alcohol intake can also improve your mood.
  • Rely on trusted news sources for information.
    Staying informed is important, but too much information can add to your COVID fatigue. Use reliable news sources and be mindful of social media, where disinformation can spread quickly.

Putnam residents have sacrificed too much and have come too far to give up now. By continuing to take extra precautions to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the curve can be flattened again.