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Earth Matters

Earth Matters: Rockland County Coronavirus Update

Earth Matters focuses on conservation, sustainability, recycling and healthy living. This weekly series is brought to you by Maria Luisa Boutique.

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Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert say there are no coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Rockland County at this time. The Rockland County Department of Health (RCDOH) is currently monitoring one individual who is under quarantine.


  • Quarantine – to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease. They are monitored to see IF they become ill. This can help limit the spread of communicable disease.
  • Isolation – to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who do not have that disease. This restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases. (No individuals in Rockland County are under isolation.)

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.

Rockland County Department of Health is taking measures to protect our community from the potential threat of COVID-19:

  • Participating in daily state and federal briefings to maintain situational awareness and follow the latest guidance for monitoring anyone who has potentially been exposed.
  • Provided guidance to local providers, healthcare facilities, federally qualified health centers, urgent care centers, school districts and emergency medical services (EMS).
  • Created a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) webpage with the latest information for residents, providers and schools:

New York is also investing in a $40 million plan to purchase necessary equipment and supplies and hire and train more health care workers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized New York to test locally for the virus, which means results are now possible for COVID-19 within hours. — NYS Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee

Because Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new disease, there is currently no vaccine available. “While people are focused on the possible risk of COVID-19, I want to remind residents that another virus poses a direct and immediate risk: the flu. Both are respiratory illnesses, so the basics of good personal hygiene are the same. It is important to 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. There is also still time to get a flu shot,” said Dr. Ruppert.

The New York State Department of Health has established a Novel Coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to speak with a NYSDOH expert who will answer questions, Monday – Sunday 9a-6p.  After hours, you may leave a voicemail that will be returned.

“Rockland County is ready and able to deal with anything that comes at us,” said County Executive Day. “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.”

It is essential that we remain cautious, attentive, and prepared. Fear and panic will not aid us in combating this public health threat.

That is why I am working hard to address this crisis in Congress by leading the negotiations for a supplemental appropriations bill to provide critical resources for public health needs. I met with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield to discuss the need for a robust response that assists state and local health departments, develops vaccines and therapeutics, and gets information to providers and the public expeditiously. — Congresswoman Nita Lowey

What Can Residents Do:

  • Stay home if sick and contact your medical provider before visiting their office.
  • Inventory your emergency supply kit. You should have a two-week supply of food and water stored in your home, with at least one gallon of water per person per day. Remember your pets too; they need their own food and water.
  • Your emergency supply kit should have a well-stocked first-aid kit, including medications to reduce fever and pain, and a fever thermometer.
  • The supply kit should also contain flashlights, a hand-operated can opener, a wind-up or battery-operated radio or TV, batteries, and copies of important documents.
  • Depending on your family’s needs, you may also need other supplies.
  • Stay up to date on CDC travel health notices:

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it.

Read Earth Matters every Wednesday on Nyack News And Views, or sign up for the Earth Matters mailing list.

Earth Matters  focuses on conservation, sustainability, recycling and healthy living. This weekly series is brought to you by Maria Luisa Boutique.

Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.

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