Laptops insurance against COVID-19

Catskill High School at 341 W. Main St. File photo

CATSKILL — Officials in the Catskill Central School District outlined a health and safety plan for reopening buildings that will be presented to the community before classes begins Sept. 13.

The plan, which was announced Aug. 26, consists of physical distancing in classrooms, face coverings for all students and staff regardless of vaccination status, and ongoing cleaning and disinfecting, according to a statement from District Superintendent Ronel Cook.

The finalized plan was approved by the Board of Education at its special meeting Aug. 25.

Masks will be required inside school buildings as well on school buses for students, staff and visitors. Masks will be optional outside and students will be provided with mask breaks when seated in classrooms and socially distanced.

“Given this guidance from the CDC, the district anticipates that fewer students will likely be quarantined by adhering to the recommendation to require mask wearing in our schools regardless of vaccination status,” Cook said.

Cook said Thursday the district will follow the state mask requirement.

“The goal from the onset and moving forward is to return students to school five days a week for continuous in-person instruction in a safe and responsible manner,” Cook said. “To achieve this goal, Catskill Central School District will adhere to the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics and state Education Department and now the recent mandate from Gov. Hochul.”

There has been a backlash from some families in the community over the mask mandate, he said.

“At our Aug. 18 public hearing, several parents who oppose the mask mandate voiced their concerns,” Cook said. “Their concerns are valued and appreciated. Nevertheless, the guidance from the federal, state and local agencies will be followed.”

Social distance of at least 3 feet will be maintained, and buses will return to full capacity with window hatches open to increase ventilation.

Fall sports will be offered this fall, but the CDC recommends schools located in regions classified as a “high” community transmission zone must either cancel higher-risk sports or ensure that all students participating in higher-risk athletic teams are fully vaccinated. Cook said this affects girls’ volleyball, football and cheerleading.

“The district is conferring with other schools within our league and the New York state Public High School Athletic Association to examine this requirement. Parents of all students including those registered for interscholastic athletics are encouraged to consider vaccination in consultation with your child’s primary care provider,” Cook said.

For music and physical education classes, a physical distance of 6 feet will be maintained while indoors and outdoor activities will be considered as the weather permits.

Desks will be cleaned once per day in meeting CDC guidelines.

“Daily disinfecting removes any remaining germs on surfaces, which further reduces any risk of spreading infection. Classroom desks will not need to be disinfected after each period at Catskill High School and Catskill Middle School. Surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected daily by custodial staff. High touch surfaces will be given additional cleaning and disinfecting,” Cook said.

More details on contact tracing and quarantine are expected next week, but the district is working with Greene County Public Health and Questar III BOCES to develop and implement a voluntary testing program, Cook said.

A fully remote program will be offered through Questar III only for medical exemptions.

Other districts have also released reopening plans that resemble Catskill’s plan.

The state’s mask mandate will be enforced in Hunter-Tannersville schools, District Superintendent Nate Jones said Thursday. Students will return to in-person instruction full-time, he added.

“We are excited to be in full swing this September, with full-day in-person learning and after-school activities taking place,” Jones said. “Our school comnmunity has stayed very positive throughout the pandemic - we are -HTCSTRONG.”

Under the reopening plan in the Cairo-Durham Central School District, students will return to 100% in-person instruction and face masks will be universally required indoors at all times, regardless of vaccination status, according to District Superintendent Michael Wetherbee.

“The CDC and AAP recommendations call for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to continue wearing masks when inside K-12 school buildings, regardless of vaccination status,” according to the plan. “This guidance is based on the fact that masks are highly effective in reducing the risk of transmission, especially when worn in group settings where individuals from different households are in close proximity for 15 minutes or more.

“Therefore, Cairo-Durham plans to follow these recommendations and expects all students and staff to wear appropriate face coverings in school buildings and on buses for the 2021-22 school year.”

Masks will be optional outdoors, and mask breaks will be permitted periodically throughout the day.

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(1) comment

scottmyers

Kimberly Kaplan

Director of Greene County Public Health

411 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

August 4, 2021

Re: Demand to create competent, effective COVID-19 vaccination campaign

Dear Ms. Kaplan:

As I’ve written, Greene County’s response to COVID-19 is inadequate. I argue that your lack of a Masters in Public Health (“MPH”) matters. Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden defends your qualifications. But a professional degree tends to insulate the job from politics.

Three months ago, my sister’s husband died of COVID-19. My sister Jenny worked as an activities director at an upscale retirement facility. She decided to retire at 64 to prevent bringing the virus home to my father, who she cared for. A week later, she and her husband tested positive for COVID-19. Jerry died four days later.

The purpose of this letter is to demand an immediate campaign to vaccinate Greene County residents. Our 49% vaccination rate is pathetic. The national average is 70%. The benefits of herd immunity begin at 70%.

My criticism of your department began with a lawsuit to pause jail construction. I argued that the workers came from more infected places each day. The criticism continued on May 20, 2020, with a letter demanding that you order county deputies and village/town police to wear masks.

You failed to reply to either demand. You have no plans for a mask mandate. Your husband’s response is to arrest, charge and prosecute me. I think you get my point.

I look forward to your response.

Very truly yours,

Scott Myers

39 West Bridge Street

Catskill, NY 12414

C.c. The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor of New York State

NYS State Capitol Building

Albany, NY 12224

Howard A. Zucker

Commissioner of New York State Department of Health

Corning Tower

Empire State Plaza,

Albany, NY 12237

Shaun Groden

Greene County Administrator

411 Main Street

Catskill, NY. 12414

Kira Pospesel

Commissioner of Greene County Dept. of Social Service

411 Main Street

Catskill, NY. 12414

Peter Kusminsky

Greene County Sheriff’s Office

370 Mansion Street

West Coxsackie, NY 12192

David Darling, Chief

Ronald Frascillo, Lieutenant

Village of Catskill Police Dept.

422 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

Joe Stanzione

Greene County District Attorney

411 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

Angelo Scaturro

Greene County Public Defender

411 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

Hon. Lisa Fisher

Supreme Court, Greene County

New York Unified Court System

320 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414-0297

Hon. Charles Tailleur

County Court, Greene County

New York Unified Court System

320 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414-0297

Hon. Terry Wilhelm

County Court, Greene County

New York Unified Court System

320 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414-0297

Hon. Richard Paolino

Village and Town of Catskill Judge

422 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

(518) 943-9544

Hon. Raymond J. Kennedy

Durham Town Court

7309 State Route 81

East Durham, New York 12423

Hon. Jennifer G. Sober

Acting County Judge

Rensselaer County Courthouse

80 Second Street

Troy, NY 12180

Monica Duffy, Chief Attorney

Joseph L. Legnard, Chief Investigator

Committee on Professional Standards

Third Judicial Department

40 Steuben Street, Ste. 502

Albany, NY 12207-2109

Marc Pallozzi

Special Prosecutor

Ianiello Anderson, P.C.

805 Route 146

Clifton Park, NY, 12065

Members of the press and public

Kimberly Kaplan

Director of Greene County Public Health

411 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

May 20, 2020

Re: Demand to enforce COVID-19 protective practices by County and Village police

Dear Ms. Kaplan:

This is a request, in your role as Director of Public Health, to provide instruction to the County Police regarding COVID-19 protective equipment and procedures, then ORDER that they wear protective protection, and then enforce the procedures.

Then, in your role as Director of Public Health, provide instruction for the Village of Catskill Police regarding COVID-19 protective equipment and procedures, then ORDER that they wear protective protection, and then enforce the procedures.

As you know binding State Executive Order from Governor Cuomo requires masks to protect from COVID-19.

The COVID-19 statistics for Greene County are not good.

In Greene County, 238 people tested positive for Corona Virus. 64 are active, and 15 died of the virus here in Greene County.

1,000s of New York City police have tested positive for COVID-19, over 29 have died.

The behaviors of the Village of Catskill Police put me in danger by exposure to their staff without masks.

This is a request to respond in writing that you will instruct and order that County and Village police wear protective equipment and use COVID-19 safe protocols.

I’ve worked since 9/11 to make Greene County safe for myself and family. So far I’ve failed. The COVID-19 response doesn’t seem adequate. The failure of the County and Village police to follow safe practices must change. As you know, management of this virus, absent an effective vaccine, requires safe distancing, face masks, and all other due caution.

I look forward to your response.

Very truly yours,

Scott Myers

4 Seasons Motel

5063 Route 32, Room 14

Catskill, NY 12414

C.c. The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor of New York State

NYS State Capitol Building

Albany, NY 12224

Howard A. Zucker

Commissioner of New York State Department of Health

Corning Tower

Empire State Plaza,

Albany, NY 12237

Peter Kusminsky

Greene County Sheriff

411 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

(518) 943-3300, Fax 6832

David Darling, Chief

Ronald Frascillo, Lieutenant

Village of Catskill Police Dept.

422 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

(518) 943-2244

Joe Stanzione

Greene County District Attorney

411 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

Angelo Scaturro

Greene County Public Defender

411 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

Hon. Lisa Fisher

Supreme Court, Greene County

New York Unified Court System

320 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414-0297

Hon. Charles Tailleur

County Court, Greene County

New York Unified Court System

320 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414-0297

Hon. Terry Wilhelm

County Court, Greene County

New York Unified Court System

320 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414-0297

Hon. Richard Paolino

Village and Town of Catskill Judge

422 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

(518) 943-9544

Members of the press and public

Kimberly Kaplan

Director of Greene County Public Health Department

411 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

Telephone: (518) 719-3600, f. 3781

kkaplan@discovergreene.com

April 20, 2020

Re: DEMAND TO HALT CONSTRUCTION OF THE JAIL IN COXSACKIE

AVOIDABLE MORTAL RISK

Dear Ms. Kaplan:

Litigation requires me to exhaust administrative remedies. Therefore, this is a demand to immediately halt construction of the new jail and sheriff’s office in Coxsackie.

The construction companies and their workers are not from Greene County. They travel in and out of Greene County each day from more contaminated counties, including from New York City.

This causes a very real and completely avoidable mortal risk. Last week 3 deaths from COVID-19 were reported here, 13 in Columbia County. Our curve is not flattening, it’s beginning the upswing of an exponential curve.

Jail construction is not on the list of approved projects. The county obtained an exception. Your husband, County Attorney Ed Kaplan, did the legal work to obtain the variances.

I oppose the new jail and am actively litigating. At this time a petition is pending in the Ulster County Supreme Court for temporary Injunctive Relief to halt jail construction.

The fact is, we’re unprepared. There are no test kits, no respirators, no ventilators, no triage or mobile hospital beds, and no hospital in Greene County and no indication what-so-ever that this is improving.

Greene County choose to add a $90 million new debt for a jail that was never justified, and with justice reforms is not justifiable. This enormous expense drains the resources for the more necessary projects, like a hospital.

The wisdom is with science not the politics. The infection rate is likely far higher than 101 (as of 4/20) since we do not have any tests.

For these and all other reasons sane and legitimate, I demand that you halt construction in Coxsackie. Anything less constitutes dereliction.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Scott Myers

Four Seasons Motel

5063 Route 32 Room 14

Catskill, NY 12414

(518) 291-8169

scottmyers@mac.com

C.c.: Shawn Groden, Ed Kaplan, Peter Markou, Pete Linger

Greene County Government

411 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

(518) 719-3540

Vinnie Seeley, Natasha Law, Peter Grasse, Joe Kozloski

Village of Catskill

422 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

J. Theodore Hilscher

Hilscher & Hilscher

2 Franklyn Street

Catskill, NY 12414

Hon. Julien Schreibman

Ulster County Supreme Court

Ulster County Courthouse

285 Wall Street

Kingston, N.Y. 12401

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