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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Top Stories > General

County continues to adjust to COVID-19

Mar 23, 2020

By Democrat staff

SULLIVAN COUNTY -- Twenty-five. That was the number of coronavirus cases confirmed by the county as of yesterday afternoon, with numbers expected to increase.
With the growing number of cases, the county has ramped up their response efforts, opening an Emergency Community Assistance Center on Friday.
“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.”
Staff and volunteers led by Community Resources Commissioner Laura Quigley have begun 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.
Also, the Sullivan County Legislature met in emergency session last week to allow Public Health Director Nancy McGraw to immediately search for and hire an epidemiologist and a community health coordinator.

More office changes
In order to comply with Governor Andrew Cuomo's directive that on-site staffing be reduced to 25 percent 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.
Beginning yesterday, the Sullivan County Treasurer's Office will not be open to the public.
“My office will continue to respond to phone calls, emails and mailed/dropped-off correspondence,” Treasurer Nancy Buck affirmed. “But to protect the health and welfare of my staff, our Government Center offices will not be publicly accessible.”
The telephone number is 845-807-0200, and emails can be sent to Nancy.Buck@co.sullivan.ny.us. Physical documents can be mailed to Sullivan County Treasurer's Office, 100 North Street, POB 5012, Monticello, NY 12701. A dropbox will be located outside the office door, but travelers to the Government Center are cautioned that the State's non-essential travel ban will be in effect starting Sunday, March 22, at 8 p.m.
Also as of yesterday, the Sullivan County Clerk's Office and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be closed to the public until further notice. Drop boxes will be located in the lobby of the Government Center for both the DMV and the Clerk's Office.
The DMV drop box will accept plate surrenders and registration renewals. Driver's license renewals will be accepted in the drop box, as well, with a vision test report that must be attached, available online at www.dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv619.pdf.
County Clerk Russell Reeves and staff are working on a DMV Remote Access System, which may offer the ability to complete complicated transactions in a safe manner. Plans are to launch this system as soon as possible.
“During this historic time, we continue to make tough decisions while doing our best to keep our public and staff safe in a responsible manner,” Reeves remarked. “We appreciate your understanding.”
When possible, residents are urged to complete their DMV and other transactions by mail: Sullivan County Clerk's Office, 100 North Street, Monticello, NY 12701.
Also, 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 until further notice. Those individuals who use the bus will be contacted for other arrangements to make sure that everyone gets what they need.
In Hurleyville, the Sullivan County Museum and Cultural Center is currently closed. However, the Sullivan County Historical Society has made online photos available on their Facebook page from the current BOCES Elementary School Art Exhibit.
In other news, 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. Also, the Civil Service examinations scheduled for March 28 have been postponed. All candidates will be notified of an alternate test date.

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