LETTER TO THE EDITOR From County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD

Thank you, Putnam County. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, you have helped neighbors in need, supported food banks and food drives, delivered meals for seniors, made and donated masks and, of course, adapted to wearing masks in public and practicing safe social distancing measures. Because of your vigilance, our communities have been able to reopen safely.

Now that schools are back in session and more people are returning to work, things may appear to be going back to the “old normal.” But we aren’t going back, we are moving forward in a new way, and we must keep up our efforts in order to maintain the success we’ve achieved. The best way to support our businesses, schools, civic organizations and religious groups is by keeping our rates of COVID-19 low.

Students and teachers are returning to school wearing masks, and we can support them by setting the example — wearing a mask when we can’t socially distance, washing our hands frequently and staying home if we don’t feel well.

By continuing to do our part, we can be a model community that does not invite another spike in COVID-19 cases. A surge in cases could overstress our healthcare heroes, overwhelm our healthcare system and devastate more families and local businesses. We have risen to the moment before, and we can do it again now. There is no question these are still challenging times, but we are not only Putnam Strong, we are Putnam Supportive. We are fortunate to live in a community where friends, families and neighbors look out for one another.

Let’s support our businesses by dining and shopping locally. Let’s continue to offer help to those most in need. Let’s mask up and set the example for our children and young people. And let’s continue to do the right thing so we can help our friends, families and neighbors to thrive. We will be a stronger community for it.

Stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy.

MaryEllen Odell, County Executive
Michael J. Nesheiwat MD, Health Commissioner