Region’s hospitals prepare for virus

LOWVILLE — Testing for the novel coronavirus continues to increase in Lewis County, and the county government is taking further precautionary steps for safety.

As of Sunday morning, the Public Health Department reported that four more COVID-19 tests came back negative for the virus, although there are still 20 pending results after two new tests were performed on Saturday, bringing the total to 35.

The report said there are currently 29 people in the county in quarantine with 22 awaiting test results, which take an average of five days to come back.

In response to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s “New York State on PAUSE” executive order on Friday, the Board of Legislators made the decision to suspend public access to the county courthouse and public safety building. Appointments are required for services from the Weights and Measures; Recreation, Parks and Forestry; Planning; Youth Bureau; Board of Elections; and Real Property/Tax departments.

“Essential services” from the county clerk’s office can also only be obtained by appointment, primarily for abstractors and attorneys who are encouraged to use e-Recording services when possible. The office will also try to answer any questions the public might have, according to a news release circulated by Clerk Jake Moser.

Mr. Moser also announced the county’s Department of Motor Vehicles will not be offering any in-person transactions although there will be a limited staff processing mail, dealer and emergency transactions. Most services can be completed by mail or online, but because of limited staff, delays should be expected.

“I’m personally very sorry for this inconvenience, but to keep with the intentions of trying to “flatten the curve” to combat the COVID-19 virus these precautions must be taken,” Mr. Moser said.

The Department of Social Services building is still receiving the public although the department recommends calling first to be advised on how best to proceed for the services required.

Anyone going into the DSS building will be screened at the door for COVID-19 exposure risk.

Essential county staff in the departments of Public Health, law enforcement, Probation, Office for the Aging and DSS will continue to provide services to the public.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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