Greene office building reopens

The exterior of the Greene County Office building, at 411 Main St. in Catskill. C-GM file photo

CATSKILL — The Greene County Office Building at 411 Main St. in the village was ordered closed at noon Thursday after a county employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The building will remain closed until Monday, according to a statement issued by the county early Thursday afternoon.

The employee, who is under quarantine, is asymptomatic, according to the statement.

The employee, a woman who has not been identified, worked in the Buildings and Grounds Department and worked on all four floors of the building, Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger, R-New Baltimore, said Thursday.

“It’s more being cautious than anything else,” Linger said. “[The employee] didn’t have a lot of contact with employees and the public other than her department.”

Three or four other employees were placed in quarantine, Linger said, adding that testing will be available Friday to all county employees who work in the building and who wish to be tested.

Linger estimated that more than 200 employees work in the building.

Because contact tracing can take time, the county opted to close the building.

“Rather than take a chance, we took a more proactive approach,” Linger said.

Linger said he did not think additional positives would keep the building from reopening Monday.

The entire building will be sanitized over the weekend, according to the statement from the county.

County employees have their temperatures taken every day and are screened with a questionnaire at the beginning of each work day, Linger said.

Employees showing symptoms are sent home and must be symptom-free before returning to work.

“We are looking at the potential of putting in thermal scanners when people come in,” Linger said.

Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever or have a higher than normal body temperature because of infection with the new coronavirus, according to the Hartford Hospital website.

But they cannot detect people who are infected but not yet sick with fever because it takes between two and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.

Greene County had five positive cases as of Wednesday, according to the Public Health Department.

In-person appointments, including the Department of Motor Vehicles, are canceled for Thursday and Friday and will be rescheduled.

Residents who need to access records from the clerk’s office can visit www.searchiqs.com/nygre.

To request an absentee ballot during the closure period, visit http://absenteeballot.elections.ny.gov/.

To reach the on-call worker for the Department of Social Services in the event of an emergency, call 518-622-3548.

All other Greene County buildings, such as the Greene County Mental Health building in Cairo, will remain open.

The county offers weekly COVID-19 testing every Wednesday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. outside the county office building. To register for testing call 518-719-3600 ext. 1.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

(1) comment

scottmyers

Kimberly Kaplan

Director of Greene County Public Health 411 Main Street

Catskill, NY 12414

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-19.1

The COVID-19 statistics for Greene County are not good.2

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.3

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.

1 http://www.op.nysed.gov/COVID-19_EO

2 https://www.greenegovernment.com/response-to-the-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-in-greene-

county-ny

3 https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

May 20, 2020

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

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

Catskill, NY

12414

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

From Greene County Web Site

https://www.greenegovernment.com/response-to-the-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-in-greene-county-ny

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