Ulster County announces another COVID-related state of emergency
Dwayne Kroohs reports in the Daily Freeman that rising COVID-19 cases counts and the emergence of the Omicron variant led Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan to declare a state of emergency on Nov. 28. The declaration will speed efforts in Ulster County to get testing supplies for local schools, businesses, and families; bolster available public health and medical staff resources; and, if necessary, to redeploy the workforce to support testing, contact tracing, and vaccination efforts. “With COVID cases and hospitalizations surging, and the emergence of a new and potentially more dangerous variant, we must step up our efforts to ensure the health and safety of all of our residents,” Ryan said in the release. “Informed by real-time data and the advice of our team of public health experts, this emergency order is an important step to allow the County to respond rapidly and effectively in order to combat the virus." Active cases of COVID-19 have tripled in Ulster County in November. On Nov. 26, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an executive order so hospitals can postpone elective hospital surgeries where they are at or below 10 percent of available staffed bed capacity. Coronavirus case counts in the Hudson Valley were already rapidly returning to last winter's levels before the news of the Omicron variant was announced on Thanksgiving. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.