Letter to the Editor: County Exec thanks contact tracers

To the Editor: 

For most of us, this was an unusually slow Memorial Day weekend.  But for those working behind the scenes to enable Putnam County to reopen on Tuesday, it was non-stop work. 

I want to thank Putnam County Personnel Director, Paul Eldridge and his staff, including Angela Aquilato, for their enormous efforts over the holiday weekend getting an army of contact tracers trained and in place so that Putnam County could reopen for business. 

I also want to thank the folks who signed up to be contact tracers for taking six hours out of their holiday weekend to complete the online training course.

Because of all of your hard work, Putnam County can restart its economy while putting safety first.

Paul and his staff worked day and night, adapting quickly to shifting guidance from the state – first we were told we needed 30 contact tracers in order to reopen, then the number suddenly jumped to 84.  No matter, they didn’t hesitate. 

They reached out to employees from nearly every county department with the urgent message that the training course had to be completed over the weekend.  They got the same message out to the summer PILOT program interns who, pre-COVID-19, had been planning to work in various county departments. They made calls to community volunteers, as well as skilled healthcare volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps., I would also like to thank the Town of Carmel for their volunteers.  

By Tuesday morning, 97 contact tracers were trained and ready to help stop the spread of coronavirus. 

It is this kind of can-do spirit, that gives me faith in the future of Putnam County. I know that, together, we will help our communities rebound.  


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
Letter dated 26 May, 2020

The views expressed in this letter are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Mid Hudson News.

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