March 4, 2020 -- Ossining officials take the health and safety of our residents and staff seriously. Ossining's Emergency Management team met in response to the recommendations related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) this morning. This group of first responders, management, communications, and departmental leaders shared updates and confirmed continuity of operations in the unlikely event that a local outbreak was to be identified. Town and Village of Ossining staff have been in regular communication with the Westchester County Department of Health as well as leaders in neighboring communities. Representatives from Town and Village of Ossining management, as well as local law enforcement, will be attending a meeting at Phelps this evening to further connect resources that support local health and safety. As always, it is better to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued recent updates on precautions that local communities can take in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Novel coronavirus is a new virus strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Recently, a novel (new) coronavirus called COVID-19 was detected in thousands of people worldwide, primarily in China. Multiple cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S., including one in Westchester County, and it is expected that more cases of COVID-19 will be identified in the future.
The risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 remains low. However, if widespread cases were to occur in our area, most people are likely to experience mild to moderate symptoms with a full recovery. The most common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
By practicing healthy habits, you can protect yourself and those around you. The CDC recommends the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer made with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- CDC does not recommend for people that well to wear face masks to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the virus to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern or have been in contact with persons who have traveled to these areas or believe they have been exposed to the virus should call ahead to their healthcare provider before presenting for treatment.
New York State Department of Health has set up a web page (click here) as well as a Hotline Phone Numbers to call for more information:
- People under self-quarantine or exposure to known case, call (866) 588-0195
- NYS Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline (888) 364-3065
- Westchester County COVID-19 Information Call 211
The Town and Village of Ossining have continuity of operations plans for all of our public services, should a local outbreak be identified.