Ulster health commissioner: Wear masks in public, regardless of vax status

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KINGSTON – Ulster County Health Commissioner Dr. Carol Smith issued a public health advisory on Sunday, strongly recommending that all residents wear masks in public spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

It also calls on employers in the county to require employees to wear masks when indoors.

In August, County Executive Pat Ryan signed an executive order requiring all county employees and members of the public to wear masks inside county facilities.

The advisory comes a week after Ryan declared a state of emergency due to rising positivity and hospitalization rates in the county, days after the state announced its first case of the Omicron variant, and as the county’s active case count jumps to its highest level since April 2021.

The county will continue to hold regular vaccination PODs for residents who need to receive their first dose, second dose, or booster dose. Appointments are recommended for the county’s vaccination PODs; although walk-ins will be accommodated as capacity allows. Sign up for an appointment at VaccinateUlster.com.

The county is also in need of volunteers to staff and support the county’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, particularly medical volunteers to be vaccinators, and screeners. Vaccinators need both an active license and current CPR certificate, or can be basic and advanced EMTs with current CPR certificate. Screeners create the record of vaccination for each patient, so should be computer literate, have attention to detail, and good customer service and communication skills.  Both of these medical volunteers will receive a stipend.  Sign up to volunteer at https://covid19.ulstercountyny.gov/vaccine-volunteer/.