COVID-19: Free Emergency Food Available for Pick up or Delivery in Putnam

To help those who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency, Putnam County Government and the United Way of Westchester of Putnam have organized for food to be available for pick up on from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 2, 2020 in the parking lot of Putnam County’s Donald B. Smith Campus, 110 Old Route 6, Carmel, NY 10512. The service is free and no ID or financial information is required. For seniors or those who are immune compromised, volunteers are available to deliver the food within Putnam County. To get more information, call 211 or visit uwwp.org/food

NYS launches COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline; Coronavirus Creates Stressful “New Normal”

BREWSTER—The coronavirus pandemic has created a highly stressful and anxiety-provoking situation on multiple fronts, but support is available. Putnam mental health providers are using video platforms and online meeting software like Facetime, Duo and GoToMeetings to stay connected with clients. Additionally, a NYS COVID Emotional Support Helpline is launched with more than 10,000 volunteer therapists.

For New York State residents who could benefit from mental health support, the NYS COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline at 844-863-9314 is staffed 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week. The phone line is staffed with specially trained volunteer professionals who are there to listen, support and refer if needed. For individuals in crisis, the Putnam County Crisis Hotline remains open 24 hours a day, 7 days each week and can be reached at 845-225-1222, and the National Suicide Prevention Talkline continues at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24/7, with special supports for Veterans by pressing 1 after dialing.

“The concerns that people have are real and valid,” said Ms. Castellano, MPA, who serves as executive director of the non-profit Mental Health Association of Putnam County. “The key thing is to realize what you can control and focus on that. Self-care should not be underestimated.”

Maintaining daily routines and self-care practices such as eating right, getting enough sleep and exercise are all important ways to alleviate stress and anxiety. “Reducing your risk for the virus will also help alleviate anxiety,” said Michael Piazza, Commissioner of Social Services and Mental Health. This means the highly effective, if repeated advice, for good hand hygiene and social distancing, as well as avoiding misinformation.

When a general COVID-19 question does arise, the first number to call is 2-1-1. Available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week, their operators speak English and Spanish, with other translation services available.

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 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.com; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealthNY and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

REPORTING OF LAB CONFIRMED CASES IN PUTNAM COUNTY CHANGED TO MORNING

The actual number of lab confirmed COVID-19 cases will be reported on the Putnam County website each morning. There will be no more 4:00 p.m. updates.

Please keep in mind that now is the time to focus on slowing the spread and flattening the curve. By staying home you can be part of the solution.

For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com/coronavirus; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealthny  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

the NYS COVID-19 Emotional Support Line is staffed by specially trained volunteers who can help.

Putnam county wants our residents to know that in addition to the Putnam County Crisis Line at 225-1222 New York state is offering an Emotional Support Line for those that would like a little extra support during this very unusual time.

PC Golf Course will remain open during the COVID-19 outbreak

As warm spring days begin, County Executive MaryEllen Odell wants to remind residents to practice safe social distancing while enjoying Putnam County Golf Course.

Putnam’s public golf course, like public courses in Westchester County, Orange County and the New York State parks, will remain open during the COVID-19 outbreak, with some activities curtailed to promote safe practices.

“Public health is always our first priority, and playing golf remains one of the few recreational activities that can be enjoyed while social distancing, just like biking on the trailway or hiking in the nature preserves,” Odell said. “Taking advantage of safe outdoor activities will help us keep our mental health and optimism intact. We’ve overcome crises before and we’ll get through this, too.”

Michael McCall, general manager of the Putnam County Golf Course, said all food and beverage operations have been closed in order to conform with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order.

“First and foremost, in conformance with the Center for Disease Control guidelines, social distancing must be practiced at all times,” McCall said. “Our policies will also continue to evolve to adhere to all local, state and national guidelines and recommendations.”

McCall, who is also executive director of MetGCSA, the golf course superintendents’ association, consulted with industry experts and sought state guidance before recommending the course remain open with the following changes in place:

  1. If anyone is showing signs of being ill, they will not be permitted.
  2. All nonessential touch points have been removed, such as hole pins, water coolers, ball washers, and bunker rakes.
  3. Golfers are encouraged to walk the course and golf carts are limited to one rider. All golf carts are cleaned and sanitized after use and golfers are provided with personal sanitizing wipes. 
  4. Public facilities are limited to ensure social distancing and are cleaned and sanitized regularly.
  5. Only reservations are accepted. Walk-ons are not permitted.
  6. No cash transactions are accepted, and customers must manually swipe their own cards.

The course is in the process of requiring online, prepaid reservations to further social distancing.

As is the case with everything else surrounding this public health crises, Odell said, this is a fluid situation that we will continue to monitor and respond to accordingly.

For the latest information check the Putnam County Golf Course website:  https://www.putnamcountygc.com/

Break down of positive cases by Towns in Putnam County

With the number of local cases of COVID-19 increasing daily, it is essential that county residents continue to stay at home, stay safe and practice social distancing, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said.

“We need to do our best to slow the spread of the outbreak, to flatten the curve, and protect our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed,” Odell said. “I really want to commend all of our residents for taking these orders as seriously as they have. The public response countywide has been fantastic.”

As of Friday morning, March 27, Putnam County had 106 positive COVID-19 cases. Every town in the county has positive cases. This is the breakdown of positive cases by town:

  • Carmel                  56
  • Kent                      13
  • Patterson             6
  • Phillipstown         6
  • Putnam Valley     8
  • Southeast            17

We are working hard at trying to get a state-run testing site in Putnam County, so that we can have the most accurate and complete information on the outbreak as quickly as possible.

In an effort to keep the public safe while continuing the work of county government, the Putnam County Legislature will hold all of its future meetings virtually

In an effort to keep the public safe while continuing the work of county government, the Putnam County Legislature will hold all of its future meetings virtually, by conference call or video conference, until further notice. The meetings will be livestreamed on the web so that the public can view them in real time.

The move to virtual meetings is a temporary solution in a difficult time, said Toni Addonizio, chairwoman of the Legislature.

“As you may know, certain New York counties, such as Dutchess County, are canceling all of their April meetings,” Addonizio said. “As elected Legislators, we believe we all have an obligation to fulfill our oath of office and our duties under the Putnam County Charter by making every effort to continue our Legislative meetings and avoiding the disruption of essential services for all Putnam County residents.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order on March 12, that temporarily modifies the requirements of the state Open Meetings Law and allows public meetings to be held remotely by conference call or similar service. His order expires April 11, but can be extended.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell issued a State of Emergency on March 13 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and shortly after issued an Executive Order that limited the size of public gatherings in the county to fewer than 20 people.

Deputy Legislature Chairman Neal L. Sullivan said the resolution to hold virtual Legislative meetings complies with both of those directives and will help limit the spread of coronavirus.

“The most important thing now is public safety,” Sullivan said. “We needed to find a way to follow state and county mandates that limit the size of gatherings during the coronavirus outbreak, while also continuing to fulfill our duties as elected officials.”

Sullivan is also chairman of the Legislature’s Rules, Enactments and Intergovernmental Relations Committee, which approved the resolution for the virtual meetings before forwarding it to the Legislature, where it passed in a vote on Thursday, March 26.

The key provisions of the adopted resolution include:

  • Allowing Legislators to participate in meetings (including voting) by conference call or videoconference;
  • Closing meetings to the general public, but allowing for the attendance of persons necessary for proper consideration of agenda items;
  • Allowing members of the press to attend meetings so that they may continue to report on Legislative proceedings to the public;
  • Requiring that any Legislative meeting closed to the public be observable by the public by audio and/or video in real-time, such as by livestreaming (webcast);
  • Requiring the transcription of all meetings and proceedings closed to the public;
  • Limiting the agenda items for all meetings to time-sensitive and/or essential business; and
  • Requiring timely public notice of all Legislative meetings as well as instructions on how to access the audio and/or video of non-public meetings.

The audio webcast link for each meeting will be posted prior to the start of the meeting on the Legislature’s page on the Putnam County website, at https://www.putnamcountyny.com/legi/

Request that the State health department establish a testing site

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has formally requested that the state health department establish a COVID-19 testing site in Putnam County without delay.

The lack of a state-run testing site within our county is putting Putnam County healthcare workers, first responders and residents at great risk Odell said.

“We need our own testing site so we can be sure of the accuracy of the results,” Odell said. “Secondhand information can be unreliable. Our first responders and health care workers need all the accurate information possible to protect themselves and our communities.”

The Putnam County Health Department is out of test kits and symptomatic residents must now travel to Westchester County, Dutchess County, Bear Mountain State Park or Danbury, Connecticut to get testing.

The information on positive test results we get from those out of county sites is often woefully incomplete, said Putnam County Commissioner of Health Michael Nesheiwat, MD.

Every testing site location is providing information in a different format, it is not standardized.  Much of the patient information is incomplete and numbers per municipality are skewed because zip codes overlap municipalities in Putnam.

“Sometimes a positive test report contains too little information to track a case,” Dr. Nesheiwat said. “We can’t operate in the dark. We need full, complete information to best protect the health and safety of our residents.”

Putnam received an additional 16 positive tests on Thursday, bringing the county’s total positive cases to 109.

“The Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services, the Sheriff’s Department and local police, fire and ambulance corps need to know what they are facing when they answer an emergency call,” said Ken Clair, Commissioner of the Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services. “Are people in the home carrying COVID-19?  Is the neighborhood a hot zone?  Are our first responders being exposed without knowing it?”

Putnam residents deserve the same access to COVID-19 tests as residents of larger counties, said Legislator Amy Sayegh, chair of the Health Committee.

“Just because we are a small county doesn’t mean we should be treated like an afterthought,” Sayegh said. “Our residents need a convenient place to find out if they have been infected with coronavirus so they can take steps to protect their own families and community.”

For the latest COVID-19 information, check the Putnam County website, www.putnamcountyny.gov.

16 ADDITIONAL COVID-19 LAB CONFIRMED CASES IN PUTNAM

The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) is confirming 16 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Putnam County residents, bringing the total to 109 cases. Now is the time to focus on slowing the spread and flattening the curve. By staying home you can be part of the solution.

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 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.com/coronavirus; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealthny  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

ELEVEN ADDITIONAL COVID-19 LAB CONFIRMED CASES IN PUTNAM

The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) is confirming eleven new positive cases of COVID-19 in Putnam County residents, bringing the total to 93 cases. Now is the time to focus on slowing the spread and flattening the curve. By staying home you can be part of the solution.

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 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.com/coronavirus; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealthny  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.