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Latest updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus

Mar 06, 2020 12:57 am
David Robinson reports in the Poughkeepsie Journal that as of March 5, there are 22 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in New York State. There are 18 cases in Westchester County, three in New York City, and one on Long Island. “The tracing of contacts is an enormous job, and as more and more cases begin to show up, I think the state is going to have to take more and more severe actions to try to reduce spread,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, a Columbia University professor specializing in disaster preparedness and public health. A number of public events and schools in Westchester County have been closed because of the illnesses. Rachel Silberstein reports in the Times Union that because of a lack of rural broadband service, most local schools lack infrastructure for remote learning in case of a local lockdown. "It's a particularly vexing problem," Schenectady Superintendent Laurence Spring said. Statistics suggest that "about 75 percent of households in our district have internet, however, in many households, the main internet access is their smartphone." State officials also recognize the problem. "Coronavirus represents a brand new challenge for schools and other institutions, and it’s clear from the survey that most board members need additional guidance about how to deal with it," New York State School Board Association Executive Director Robert Schneider said. And Diane Valden reports in the Columbia Paper that the Columbia Memorial hospital in Hudson may not deliver babies anymore, but they say they are prepared for COVID-19 cases. William Van Slyke, Columbia Memorial Health vice president of Marketing and External Affairs, told The Columbia Paper, “We are prepared, protocols are in place to handle it.... We are in a constant state of readiness.”