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Tioga County COVID-19 Update

Broadcast Transcript

 

by Tioga County COVID-19 Task Force - March 27, 2020

This is a Tioga County COVID-19 Task Force Update with Jim Nobles and Tioga County Commissioners Roger Bunn, Mark Hamilton, and Erick Coolidge.

The Task Force is very pleased with the social distancing and mitigation efforts all of our residents are employing to keep this virus at bay for as long as we can.

From the surrounding areas, there is 1 confirmed case in Bradford County, 1 in Potter County, and 1 in Lycoming County. In the surrounding counties in New York State, there are 8 confirmed cases in Steuben County and 1 in Chemung County.

While the rest of the state and nation struggle with the spread of the disease, Tioga County, for the time being, is holding its own. The Task Force can’t thank you enough for taking the social distancing recommendations and strict handwashing procedures very seriously. We are and will remain ever vigilant and prepared as a community to tackle whatever lies ahead.

The Tioga County Board of Commissioners felt it important that we share some of what is happening in the county in reference to the COVID-19 virus.

As of Monday, March 23rd, ALL COUNTY BUILDINGS WERE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC in response to the COVID-19 virus. Tioga County was forced to make these decisions to protect the safety of our employees and the public we serve, while at the same time, continuing to provide needed services.

The Commissioners have also met with other County Elected Officials, and Department Heads to develop a flexible strategy that will address work requirements yet provide a level of safety to the employees. One aspect of this was the closing of all county facilities to the public.

Although the facilities are closed, the county is still conducting business. At the courthouse, for example, there are boxes in the entrance area where items can be dropped off for the various departments, and if necessary, a representative of the office of interest will meet you at the door to receive items and answer any questions you may have.

Other County facilities, such as Human Services and The Conservation District, are operating at a level required to meet consumer needs – while adhering to the law and conforming to guidance from both the state and federal levels.

As most of you know by now, the Commissioners have formed a Taskforce of professionals from all aspects of the community to advise actions to take – and just as important, to keep us up to date on what actions THEY are taking to address the issue.

Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated in this unprecedented, trying time. Keep in mind that this is an ever-changing situation. Remain calm, stay informed, and follow the advice and directions of the public health officials.

Our 911 call center has been locked down for two weeks now with our employee’s health and well-being closely monitored. Our emergency call volume has been slightly down as people are heeding the CDC guidelines of calling their doctors for advice for non-emergency health illnesses. 

We do need to take this opportunity to remind people not to call 911 unless it is an emergency. More specifically, do not call to report a business that you think should not be operating. Our EMS 1st responders in the field are reporting that they are currently prepared with all PPE and supplies they need and are making complete sanitation measures after every call.

As many of you may know, Tioga County has declared an emergency disaster which will help with drawing down any funding that may become available in the near future. We are encouraging all of our Boroughs and Townships to do the same if they have not already done so.

Our public transportation system, BeST Transit is committed to continuing services throughout this crisis. For the safety of both our drivers and passengers we have instituted free fare for our fixed routes. This allows for no personal contact between driver and passenger. We are also trying to maintain the social distancing rules on the buses and sanitizing vehicles multiple times a day. We have stopped our mall routes and our connector routes with our Mansfield Mountie route being reduced to approx. 5 hours per day.

Our shared ride route numbers are down because of nonessential appointment cancellations, but the staff is still committed to providing all transportation needs in a safe and timely manner.

NTSWA has suspended all recycling for now but remains committed to all trash pickup routes. Their receiving sites are closed to the public but remain open to all commercial haulers in the area. Again they are implementing all best practices to keep both employees and the public safe.

A few final notes:

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is available through applications on-line at: compass.state.pa.us

The Pennsylvania Primary Election is postponed until June 2, 2020.

We are extremely fortunate to have Keck’s Food Service in our area, who has continued to provide food to their many customers with supplies to meet our region’s needs.

Please communicate with one another; there is a need to watch out for scams that are happening in the midst of this crisis. As deplorable as it sounds, they are out there; spread the word and question what sounds suspicious.

We will get through this difficult period of time. When we do get to the other side, please remember our main streets and those businesses which have kept our communities strong; that we support them with our business abundantly!

Credits:

Videography: Andrew Moore

Video Editing: Andrew Moore

Writing: Tioga County COVID-19 Task Force

 

Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by Laurel Health Centers, Jim & Mary McIlvaine

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