For nearly 12 months the Rockland County Department of Health battled one of the most infectious diseases on this planet and brought it’s spread to a screeching halt. Our experience with the measles outbreak was extensive. The Health Department contacted thousands of individuals as part of their disease investigations and actively monitored nearly 1,200 individuals who had been exposed.
More than any other County in the State of New York or our Country, we are prepared. We are ready and able to deal with anything that comes at us. Our battle against the measles was a template for any future outbreak; we have the strategies, contacts and infrastructure in place and are ready. Our Department of Health is well-prepared and experienced at monitoring at risk residents and in overall disease surveillance.
And we are not just sitting back as COVID-19, Coronavirus, continues to spread around our country and the world. The Rockland County Department of Health is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to prepare for any potential, local cases.
They are participating in daily State and Federal briefings to maintain situational awareness and follow the latest guidance for monitoring anyone who has potentially been exposed. They have provided guidance to local providers, healthcare facilities, federally qualified health centers, urgent care centers, school districts and emergency medical services (EMS).
And they have created a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) webpage with the latest information for residents, providers and schools: https://bit.ly/3cdIt1O
The New York State Department of Health has also established a Novel Coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to speak with a NYSDOH expert who will answer questions, Monday – Sunday 9:00 am- 6:00 pm. After hours, you may leave a voicemail that will be returned.
It is important to remember that the basics of good personal hygiene are the best way to prevent this and other diseases. Wash your hands often, stay home when you are sick and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze by using your elbow or a tissue.
If you do think you may be sick with COVID-19, please follow the following guidance from the CDC:
• Stay home except to get medical care.
• Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
• Call ahead before visiting your doctor.
• Wear a facemask.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes.
• Avoid sharing personal household items.
• Clean your hands often.
• Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day.
• Monitor your symptoms.
Above all that I ask that everyone remain calm and listen to the advice of the experts. Rockland County is ready, and I have faith in our health officials, institutions and most of all our people. Together we can overcome any challenge that is set in our path.