In the wake of large-scale developments throughout the country, I want to take the time to go through the facts as we have them available to us today, and I want to reassure my friends and neighbors that we are working diligently on the situation. Our goal is to work these new facts into our daily routines and alleviate the public health crisis.

            One of the steps that the New York Legislature has taken is passed a $40 million emergency fund that can be used to increase the state’s ability to respond to COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus. As the situation has continued to change and grow, and as public health officials have learned more, important steps have been taken and additional measures will come in the future as the situation continues to develop. Additionally, President Trump has declared a national state of emergency relating to the pandemic; this not only means all federal initiatives are shifting toward the better health and welfare of citizens, but also that forgiveness programs are being implemented to ensure all citizens are protected, both economically and related to their healthcare.

            We are currently in uncharted territory: international travel has been restricted, professional sports leagues have been suspended and Wall Street’s reactions all demonstrate the gravity of the situation. It can be overwhelming to see the constant news coverage paired with social media commentary, wild predictions and increased anxiety about what the future holds. While concern is a natural response, I am calling for citizens to remain calm and follow the guidelines set forth by public policy and health experts.

            As of today, there are currently 729 positive cases in New York, with 329 of the confirmed cases found in New York City, New Rochelle and Long Island. As the state government continues to assess and manage the total impacts of this disease, it is critical that we all work together to manage the issue.      

             The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a wealth of information about what the virus is, how people can protect their health and what to do if you think you may be a victim of the disease. I urge everyone to review the CDC’s recommendations and do your part to help prevent the disease from spreading further. As part of its response and to ensure residents stay informed, New York state has established the New York State Coronavirus Hotline at: 1-888-364-3065.

            Some of these ideas and recommendations might seem silly and obvious, but a healthy reminder is as important now as it has ever been. What we are learning as we study and combat this virus is that the most effective ways to beat it are the simplest. It is important that, as the situation continues to change rapidly, we keep up-to-date with accurate information, and be considerate of others.

            As of right now, it is clear that our homes are not susceptible to the coronavirus. Only two positive infections have been confirmed in Monroe County. But, as I said before, the situation is likely to change, so it is imperative that citizens practice healthy habits of washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes and limiting prolonged close contact with others. Do this, and we will push through this incident together.


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