Cortland County declared a state of emergency this afternoon, allowing quick reaction to the growing coronavirus threat and shutting public schools beginning Wednesday and senior centers Tuesday.
The declaration issued by Cortland County Administrator Robert Corpora also prioritizes access to day care facilities to the families of essential employees and first responders. Public and private sector employees should contact to their employers to determine if they are essential.
There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, in the county as of this afternoon.
Education in public school buildings will halt on Wednesday and the closures will continue through April 13 unless a confirmed case of COVID-19 is reported in Cortland County earlier, at which time the order will take effect immediately.
This order will allow school buildings to remain open for non-education purposes and staff members will report as required.
Individual school districts will be informing families of plans for educational programs, Eric Mulvihill, clerk of the Cortland County Legislature, said Sunday.
The emergency declaration was issued after a meeting of representatives of the county legislature, key county departments, school districts, Guthrie Cortland Medical Center and Cayuga Medical Center, Mulvihill said.
County operations will continue unchanged unless otherwise advised. Cortland County employees are required to report for work as scheduled.
The county is evaluating all services and is limiting non-essential services.
The Horizon House program is closed. Anyone with appointments at county offices or for county services is advised to call before arriving for their scheduled appointment. Anyone who does not have an appointment for service should call ahead. Per state guidance, all services at the county Department of Motor vehicles will be by appointment only or through the existing drive through window.
At this time the county does not anticipate any changes in public transit schedules or routes.
Senior centers close Tuesday. Meals on Wheels services will continue but deliveries may be modified.
The county’s declaration allows local officials to mobilize quickly and activate all necessary resources to respond to this public health emergency, according to a news release issued by the county.
What does the State of Emergency mean in Cortland County?
— Allows officials to obtain and purchase goods and services quickly.
— Assistance can be provided to municipalities and school districts.
— County operations will continue unchanged unless otherwise advised.
—This declaration does not impact travel in Cortland County.
— This declaration allows the county to use funding with less restriction.
Several telephone numbers are being publicized for residents who are seeing information. For general inquiries (non-medical): Call 2-1-1 or 877-211-8667 For health inquiries: Cortland County Health Department at a607-753-5526 New York State Hotline for COVID-19: 1-888-364-3065.
— Call 211 for information, including questions about food, transportation, events and gatherings, cancellations,and other human service needs
— Cortland County Health Department will continue to send out public updates
— Check Facebook
— Go to the Cortland County Health Department website for up-to-date information
Anyone who develops symptoms of illness including fever, cough, or trouble breathing, is asked to call their health care provider before going to the office. In the event of an emergency, call 911.