Governor Announces Dental Practices Permitted to Reopen

Guidelines updated to ensure safety for patients and staff

BREWSTER, NY— Governor Cuomo announced dentists can begin seeing patients for routine dental care starting on June 1. Originally slated to reopen in “Phase 2,” dentists have been given the green light sooner than expected with declining NYS coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, intubations and deaths. 

“Our dental health care providers in Putnam have been team players from the start of this pandemic,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Some donated masks and gloves to our frontline workers and all have now invested time and resources to ensure safety for their patients and staff as they return to their offices.” 

From physical distancing to personal protective equipment, New York State has shared a twelve-page document which includes a link for providers to affirm their receipt of and agreement to follow the guidance set forth.  

For dental health care providers, proper use of personal protective equipment is nothing new. While dental settings are traditionally designed with patient and provider safety in mind, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dentistry in the time of the novel coronavirus goes further to balance the need to provide necessary services while minimizing risk to patients and dental health care personnel. 

On March 16, the American Dental Association (ADA) was one of the first national professional health associations to recommend postponement of all but urgent or emergency procedures. Just over two months later, the ADA designed an interim return to work toolkit for dental practitioners. Together with documents from the CDC, and now New York State, the comprehensive guidance addresses ways dentists and hygienists can reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission before, during and after visits.  

Dr. Daniel Doyle, of Doyle Dental and president of the Putnam County Board of Health says, “The dentists of Putnam County are thrilled to be back seeing their patients. They are now seeing all patients for routine procedures, not just for emergencies.”  

As dental offices begin planning to reopen their doors they may be adapting their offices to meet new safety state and federal guidelines. Doyle Dental’s website and patient correspondence describes new safety protocols. Some changes patients can expect as they return to their dentist’s office include plexiglass partitions at reception, waiting room modifications including chair spacing, removal of magazines and mask requirements as well as screening for symptoms of illness. Additionally, because many dentists donated their personal protective equipment (PPE) to essential workers and closed their doors for over two months, some may have had to rebuild their PPE stock. 

Modifications to dental care will impact everything from pre-appointment communication to provider and patient interactions. According to the ADA, dental office staff may call patients for a preliminary health screening prior to an appointment. Patients may notice their dentist or dental hygienist wearing additional protective gear such as a face shield and gown. While the state allows offices to begin reopening as of June 1, Dr. Doyle recommends residents check with their local dentist regarding specific safety measures and exact reopening dates. 

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.com/coronavirus; or visit our social media sites @PutnamHealthNY on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Open the doors to our houses of faith – if only with limited capacity – to help us heal.

The protests we are witnessing  over the last several days following the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have caused significant destruction and disruption throughout many major cities in the United States.

We understand the anguish, sadness, and anger so many across our country are feeling; and we acknowledge the urgent need to address injustice wherever it resides in America, including right here in our own communities.

As Governor Cuomo himself said, although we do not condone violence, theft and property destruction, we understand the anger and grief being expressed as a result of this senseless killing.  It could not happen at a worse time as people have been cooped up in their homes as we shelter in place to stem the transmission of a vicious and deadly virus.

Our churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of faith need to be available for neighbors, leaders and community to come together.  And, the personal interaction that occurs in faith communities can prove invaluable.  We respectfully request the reopening of faith based organizations allowing at least 25% occupancy with adherence to guidelines for social distancing, use of face coverings and with proper cleaning and hygiene at their facilities.

Embrace these men and women of faith to help address the pent up anger, anguish and tensions.  Our faith leaders can and must be a key part of healing our communities. This can be a powerful sign and send a strong message to the people of America that we are still one nation, indivisible- and that we seek liberty and justice for all.

Open the doors to our houses of faith – if only with limited capacity – to help us heal.

Stay safe. Be well.
We are all in this together.

Marc Molinaro, Dutchess
Steve Neuhaus, Orange
Pat Ryan, Ulster
Ed Day, Rockland
Mary Ellen Odell, Putnam

Rob Rolison, Poughkeepsie
Steve Noble, Kingston
Lee Kyriacou, Beacon
Torrance Harvey, Newburgh

Kelly Decker, Port Jervis

Stay safe. Be well.

We are all in this together.

Face Coverings for Putnam County Seniors “Drive-by” Distribution

What:

The Putnam County Office for Senior Resources is pleased to announce that is has scheduled 2 Face Covering Distribution days for Putnam County seniors. The face covering is a white washable cotton fabric and will come with washing instructions.

Seniors have been identified as being a group that is very vulnerable to the COVID-19 or Coronavirus. Putnam County Department of Health and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance recommends that we wear face coverings when in groups and in public settings.

Who: This program is for the benefit of Putnam County seniors of age 60 and older

When: From 12pm noon to 2 pm on

  • Friday June 5, 2020 and
  • Monday June 8, 2020

Where:

  • Carmel Friendship Center, 110 Old Rt. 6, Bldg. 1, Carmel
  • Koehler Senior Center, 180 Rt. 6, Mahopac
  • Putnam Valley Senior Center, 117 Town Park Lane, Putnam Valley
  • Friendship Center in Philipstown, 1756 Rt. 9D, Lahey Pavilion, Cold Spring

How:

The health and safety of our seniors and staff is paramount during this distribution program so we will have signage posted directing cars and walk-ins where to go. Staff will also be outside our centers during the distribution period. Seniors driving in are to remain in their cars and the face coverings will be handed to them on a tray by OSR staff and volunteers wearing face coverings and gloves.

The Seasonal Return of Tickborne Illnesses Putnam County Department of Health offers advice for reducing risk

BREWSTER, NY— The warmer weather and “cabin fever” have many people heading outdoors for some relief. While the novel coronavirus continues to be on everyone’s mind, ticks are on the increase with the spring weather.  As both experienced hikers and novices alike hit the trails in record numbers, the Putnam County Department of Health wants to remind everyone to protect themselves– not just from the virus, but from ticks as well.  Wearing a mask or face covering outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained, now goes hand-in-hand with other safeguards such as tick repellant and protective clothing to reduce the chance of infection with a tickborne disease. 

Five tick borne illnesses infect residents in the Hudson Valley. While Lyme disease is the most common and the most well-known, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis and babesiosis are increasing as well. Powassan disease, a rarer and potentially deadly infection, is also carried by the same black-legged tick, or “deer tick,” that transmits Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis.   

“Our community has many beautiful parks and trails to explore and for many of our residents, our natural landscape has been a saving grace during this challenging time. We encourage people to continue to enjoy the outdoor spaces and also take appropriate precautions to stay healthy, which includes preventing tickborne illnesses,” says Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell.  

“While tick populations vary each season, if you garden, hike, camp, hunt, work or otherwise spend time in the outdoors, you should still protect yourself,” says Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “Personal protection and habitual tick checks on both your clothing and your body are key.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents such as those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE). “Personal protection can include use of EPA-registered repellents as well as treating clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin or wearing pre-treated clothing,” adds Dr. Nesheiwat. Permethrin remains protective through several washings. To find the repellent that is right for you, search the Environmental Protection Agency database https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you.   

The Putnam County Department of Health works closely with healthcare providers to share the most up-to-date recommendations and best practices for evaluating, diagnosing and reporting tickborne illnesses. A physician makes the final diagnosis based on a combination of available tests, observation of the patient, and the patient history as well as description of symptoms.  

The most common symptoms of Lyme disease include fever/chills, aches and pains, and a bulls-eye rash. “Because Lyme disease is prevalent in our area, residents who have been bitten by a tick and develop any of these symptoms within 30 days should visit their healthcare provider,” urges Dr. Nesheiwat. For more details regarding the symptoms and guidelines for other tickborne illnesses, visit the CDC’s webpage https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/symptoms.html.  

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.com/coronavirus; or visit our social media sites @PutnamHealthNY on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Break down of positive cases by Towns in Putnam County 5/29/2020

5-29 DASHBOARD NEW FORMAT WITH DEFINITIONS

Break down of positive cases by Towns in Putnam County 5/28/2020

5-28 DASHBOARD NEW FORMAT WITH DEFINITIONS

Break down of positive cases by Towns in Putnam County 5/27/2020

5-27 DASHBOARD NEW FORMAT WITH DEFINITIONS

Break down of positive cases by Towns in Putnam County 5/26/2020

5-26 DASHBOARD NEW FORMAT WITH DEFINITIONS

Thank you Putnam County

The county, state and nation are in the middle of a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.  Our work and personal lives have been turned upside down.  However, we will get through this together.  And, it’s going to require special efforts by all of us.  An example of this special effort was demonstrated over this past holiday weekend.

The county was given a mandate mid-day Saturday, the 23rd, to have 84 contract tracers trained by the end of the weekend.  Our 7 county mid-Hudson region was given a mandate to have a total of 1,991 contact tracers trained by the end of the weekend.  Previously, we were advised that employees would have until June 4th to be trained.   CSEA Unit President Janet Canaday sent an email on Friday, the 22nd to all CSEA members about the requirement of being a contact tracer.  What wasn’t known by Janet or anyone else at that time was that the training to be a contact tracer was going to be mandated for completion by the end of the weekend.

“Team Putnam” made up of CSEA members, PuMA management members, Management/Confidential employees, Town of Carmel employees, Medical Reserve Corps volunteers, PILOT interns and local community volunteers who were all advised by Paul Eldridge’s emailed letter on Saturday of this requirement and of the urgent need to respond.  Fortunately, enough of you responded and gave up a major portion of your holiday weekend to tackle the training.  As a result, Putnam County realized the required number of trained contact tracers and the region was able to reopen under Phase 1 as of today.

I would like to sincerely express my gratitude to you for responding to this call to action so we could meet this mandated requirement of New York State.

Public Health Efforts Continue as Putnam County Comes Back to Life

BREWSTER, NY—A deliberate, phased-in approach to reopening began in other parts of the state. Now its Putnam and the Mid-Hudson region’s turn. Deaths from COVID-19 have continued to decline and contact tracer training is underway, so phase one has begun. 

“We have been watching carefully around the State and we know what a safe re-opening looks like,” County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “It is a delicate process. Getting the economy moving again is crucial, which is why Putnam County formed the ‘Reopen Putnam Safely Task Force.’ We must all do our part and not become complacent. Following the guidance will ensure the virus continues to decline. Large gatherings and crowds still need to be avoided, as we continue to practice social and physical distancing. The good news is that over the Memorial Day weekend, we saw residents at Putnam beaches showing restraint and being responsible. ”  

The key is to remain diligent in practicing the tried-and-true public health practices of good hygiene, social distancing and now keeping gatherings to groups of less than ten people. By keeping groups small, contact tracing can be managed. According to the NYS reopening benchmarks, thirty contact tracers are needed per 100,000 residents. However, NYS reopening requirements for Putnam stipulated that the county identify 84 contact tracers in order to track and identify people who may become sick and advise them on how to avoid spreading the virus further.  

Putnam County’s Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, also emphasized the importance of continuing public health efforts, saying, “Everyone must remain strong and continue to practice social distancing, hand washing and wearing face coverings. With these practices we have flattened the curve. With these practices we can keep it flattened. Then we can continue to reopen and get everyone back to work. The key words are caution, patience and perseverance.”  

In Putnam, as around the state, Phase One begins with the reopening of businesses where physical distancing can be most easily preserved. Construction, farms and landscaping businesses, manufacturing, and wholesale trade are some of the businesses that are getting the green light first. Retail establishments as well can open, limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off.  If all proceeds with reason and restraint and hot spots are quickly identified through contact tracing and testing, progress will continue. If lapses occur, it will take some time for that to be reflected in the numbers of positive cases and hospitalizations. 

Anonymous cellphone data shows that people across the country initially took very seriously the government’s advice to stay at home. Now with the warmer weather, the easing of restrictions in some areas, and nearly everyone tired of staying home, more people are venturing out more. This is all good for the economy. If public health practices can remain in place, then resurges can be contained, the economy will continue to revive itself. Putnam residents can continue to do their part, both for the health of the community and to support local businesses.