Watson returns to help with Oswego County’s COVID-19 effort

The Oswego County Health Department continues to recognize the volunteers who have helped their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. This month’s honoree Judy Watson is pictured answering a call on the county’s COVID-19 hotline. Photo courtesy of Sonia Robinson, Oswego County Health Department.

OSWEGO COUNTY – Across the country, retired personnel have come out to serve on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. This month, Oswego County recognizes Judy Watson for her help with their effort.

“A retiree from the County Health Department, Judy is familiar with our workforce and was eager to jump right back in,” said Danielle Carlone, public health sanitarian for the Oswego County Health Department. “She has a background in nursing and health care administration and worked in various nursing positions in the health department over her career. Judy was a supervising public health nurse for the Preventative Services and Hospice divisions and became the director of Patient Services before her retirement.”

Now, Watson is an active member of the Oswego Town Planning Board, vice president of the Friends of Hospice Board and volunteers with the county’s COVID-19 effort by helping on the COVID-19 phone bank.

After dedicating 35 years with the County Health Department, Watson said that returning as a volunteer to help her former co-workers was an easy decision. “I knew this was something I could do to lend a hand,” she said. “The time and effort I’ve seen from all of our health department staff these past 16 months or so is something I will not forget.”

She went on to say that their relentless dedication – and that of other volunteers in this effort – has had a true impact on resident’s lives, including her own. “This pandemic and my perspective on day-to-day life has shown me how lucky I am and not to take life for granted.”

When asked to define “public health,” Watson highlighted all those involved in the COVID-19 effort. She said, “We are the gatekeepers to our community’s health.”

The Oswego County Health Department is grateful for the countless volunteers and their dedication to helping with the COVID-19 effort. Their support has helped the department’s critical operations run as smoothly as they have.

“We continue the fight against COVID-19 with a group of amazing individuals who are ready for any challenge,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “We have been recruiting volunteers since March 2020 and there is still a need for their help in our ongoing battle against this virus.”

For more information, go to the Oswego County Health Department’s COVID-19 page at health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19 or call its COVID-19 Hotline at 315-349-3330. Hotline hours will be limited through the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. It will be open from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. weekdays only.

For information about emotional supports, visit the Oswego County Department of Social Services Division of Mental Hygiene at www.oswegocounty.com/mentalhygiene.

Effective Dec. 13, New York state requires that masks must be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a full-course vaccination requirement. Oswego County government requires that masks be worn inside all county government facilities.

Under New York State Public Health Law, the Oswego County Health Department is the local public health authority regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response within the county of Oswego. The Oswego County Health Department works closely with New York State Department of Health regarding COVID-19 monitoring, response and reporting.

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