Officials watching re-opening carefully

JOHNSTOWN — The chairman of the Fulton County Board of Supervisors said Friday that county government is dealing with the changes locally related to COVID-19, slowly opening up.

“We’re trying right now to reopen and taking it cautiously,” said board Chairman Warren Greene.

The board’s standing committee meetings next week are still due to be virtual meetings, but things may change sometime in July. The board’s Public Safety, Public Works, Human Services, Economic Development & Environment and Finance committees are due to meet June 29 through July 2.

“The plan right now is we’re going to have one more set of Zoom meetings,” Greene said.

The full board’s last meeting was streamed live on YouTube.

But if the COVID-19 situation continues with better figures, he said Fulton County government’s proceedings may open for the public in July. The full Board of Supervisors next meets at 1 p.m. July 13, and committees after that meet later in July.

“We’re trying to follow CDC guidelines,” Greene said.

Fulton County Clerk Linda Kollar has announced a schedule for the Johnstown Department of Motor Vehicles office at the County Office Building at 223 W. Main St. to reopen for customer appointments. After delays invoked by the state DMV commissioner, the local DMV Office was able to begin in-person transactions by appointment only on Monday.

The public can go online or call (518) 736-5950 to make an appointment for driver’s license renewals, driver’s license upgrades and permit applications, and for registration requests that cannot be processed through DMV’s front drop box or via the mail.

Fulton County’s Latex Paint Exchange has been canceled for 2020.

Greene said he has conferred with county Emergency Management Director Steven Santa Maria and GAVAC about the county’s previous effort to possibly streamline EMS services, which has been sidetracked during the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the main cases numbers has been those coming out of the Fulton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare in the town of Johnstown with COVID-19, Greene said. But he said that is separate from the rest of the county.

“The county as a whole has actually done well with COVID-19,” Greene said.

Fulton County Public Health Director Laurel Headwell on Friday issued a release confirming that testing of Fulton County residents indicates that 245 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday. Of those, 193 have recovered from the virus and 20 cases are active.

“Sadly, 33 residents of our county have died from complications of COVID-19,” Headwell said.

The release indicated that as Fulton County continues to work through the reopening phases, Headwell asks that the public be mindful of the precautions. She said the goal is to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect all individuals. She said it is crucial to continue to take steps such as avoid large crowds and gatherings, keep “social circle” small, stay home when sick; if you must go out, stay at least six feet away from other people; and wear a cloth face covering so you don’t spread germs when you talk, sneeze, or cough.

New Yorkers can find a COVID-19 testing site at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you.

By utilizing the website. public health strongly urges residents that if you have symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone who is infected while you wait for your test result you should stay away from others through isolation or quarantine, the release says.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.


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