Monticello, NY – In an effort to aid the most vulnerable populations, Sullivan County is opening an Emergency Community Assistance Center tomorrow, Friday, March 20.
“Our Public Health Services call line has been inundated with requests for help and information, and this new Assistance Center will ensure those who are unable to leave their homes can receive the assistance they need,” explained County Manager Joshua Potosek. “At the same time, the Center will field calls from those seeking to offer help and connect them with the right people and locations.”
At 8 a.m. tomorrow, staff and volunteers – led by Community Resources Commissioner Laura Quigley – will begin accepting calls at 845-807-0925. Assistance will be prioritized to senior citizens, the physically disabled, and others unable to shop for food, medicine and other necessities. (Callers with health questions or other concerns should continue to dial Public Health Services’ hotline at 845-292-5910.)
The Assistance Center operators will also welcome those who are seeking to offer time, money, goods or services to people and organizations in need.
County Government Reducing On-Site Staffing
In order to comply with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s directive that on-site staffing be reduced to 25% of normal, the following Sullivan County government offices will be closed, with staff working from home: Assigned Counsel; Family Services Legal; Parks, Recreation & Beautification; and the Youth Bureau. Calls and emails will continue to be taken, however.
The Department of Community Services in Liberty will be providing some on-site services by appointment only for assessments and medication administration, in order to aid social distancing. Beginning March 23, hours of operation will be Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. They will be conducting individual therapy sessions via phone and all groups through a teleconference process. They will be calling in medications for persons as needed. Questions welcomed at 845-292-8770.
The Division of Public Works will take advantage of the emptier offices to undertake cleaning and disinfecting.
Office for the Aging Temporarily Limiting Services
The Sullivan County Office for the Aging has implemented the following measures to help control the spread of coronavirus:
- Congregate nutrition sites that have been currently providing pick-up only meals are to be closed as of Friday. Those who need meals delivered are being identified and contacted.
- The Office itself is closed to walk-in appointments, with limited staff available to help by appointment only. Phone calls are encouraged: 845-807-0241.
- The Shopping Bus will be ending this week until further notice. Those individuals who use the bus will be contacted for other arrangements to make sure that everyone gets what they need.
“While we are always here to help, we strongly encourage people to reach out to their family, friends and neighbors to see how they can help our most vulnerable seniors, who are strongly advised to stay home to limit exposure,” said Office for the Aging Director Lise-Anne Deoul. “We want to encourage individuals that have informal supports in place to utilize those to enable our resources to be used by those who need them most.”
Legislature Approves Epidemiologist and Community Health Coordinator
The Sullivan County Legislature met in emergency session today to allow Public Health Director Nancy McGraw to immediately search for and hire an epidemiologist and a community health coordinator.
“These positions, when filled, will allow us to more nimbly respond to the many demands being placed on us in the midst of this pandemic,” McGraw stated. “I thank the Legislature for their support.”
County Museum Closed, But You Can Still Peek Inside
In order to protect staff, volunteers and the public, the Sullivan County Museum and Cultural Center in Hurleyville is currently closed.
However, the Sullivan County Historical Society has made available online photos from the current BOCES Elementary School Art Exhibit. You can view it by visiting www.facebook.com/scnyhistory.
Postponements and Cancellations
The March 31 informational session for first-time homebuyer assistance, scheduled by the Sullivan County Division of Planning and RUPCO, Inc., has been cancelled. A new date will be announced in the future.
The Civil Service examinations scheduled for March 28 have been postponed. All candidates will be notified of an alternate test date.