Orange County prepares for the human side of the virus impacts

GOSHEN – The nation as we know it has changed dramatically in one week as the coronavirus takes hold.

There have been dozens of positive cases confirmed in recent days, leading to quarantines. In New York, shopping centers have been ordered closed and private businesses have been asked to have 75 percent of their employees work from home.

As of Thursday evening, Orange County has 68 confirmed cases with 10 people hospitalized; two of them are in critical condition, said county Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman.

The county is looking out for the well-being of all of its residents, said County Executive Steven Neuhaus.  “That 800 number, 1-800-832-1200, they will help you with anything, so if you are looking for help for food or if you have any depression issues, or somebody has an addiction issue, going to the homeless. For the most part, we have put our homeless shelters on lockdown. We don’t want people coming in there and impacting those families,” he said.

Dr. Gelman said we probably will not see the virus peak for another four to eight weeks.

The governor wants an inventory of potential available beds should there be a surge of hospitalizations. Neuhaus said the former Horton Hospital building in Middletown and the Cornwall campus of Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital are among the possibilities.



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