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COVID-19 Update: Mass gatherings limited, capacity cut at gathering spots as COVID-19 spreads to Dutchess and Albany counties

Mar 13, 2020 12:57 am
There are now 325 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York as of March 12, including four in Ulster County, three in Saratoga County, and one each in Albany, Delaware, Dutchess, and Orange counties. The state also banned events of 500 people or more, with bars and restaurants also now forced to cut their capacity in half. And nursing homes in New York are now prohibiting anyone except medical staff to enter, as the coronavirus is worse for the elderly and sick. “Science dictates these decisions,” Cuomo said. “This is about science. This is about data. And let the science and let the data make the decisions.” Schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and mass transit are exempted from the mass-gathering rules. The Kingston City School District is closed March 13 because of proximity to one of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ulster County. The Ulster County Jail and Albany County Jail have both suspended visits to inmates, but Dutchess County did not make the same prohibition. The Ulster County Civil Division is suspending all evictions. Columbia-Greene Community College is not closing like most of the other SUNY schools, and will conduct business as usual until further notice. The College and its facilities will remain open during the regularly scheduled Spring Break, from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20. Most other local colleges are closed. Public schools in Ohio, Maryland, and Kentucky are closing. Windham-Ashland-Jewett schools are closed for a third day March 13 because a relative of a school staffer was sick, but has since tested negative for the coronavirus. A volunteer ski patroller in Windham is also being tested for COVID-19. Windham Mountain has also closed their spa, and is limiting the size of gatherings. Gov. Cuomo says he is reluctant to shut down schools, saying children so far seem to have greater resiliency and shutdowns would be "tremendously disruptive to society." The Greene County Public Health Department still has not commented on COVID-19. They do not return calls or emails from reporters.
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