As you know, the coronavirus is affecting people throughout New York, across the country and globally. Information on this serious illness is changing rapidly and it is important to stay up to date on the latest developments in order to protect yourself and your loved ones.
The NYS Department of Health has established a Coronavirus Hotline, 1-888-364-3065, and has posted information on its website at www.health.ny.gov. Other important numbers include:
- Erie County DOH: 716-858-2929
- Livingston County DOH: 877-280-6775
- Monroe County DOH: 585-753-5555
- Wyoming County: Call state hotline at 888-364-3065
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is another valuable source of information.
These are truly extraordinary times. As I write this, the governor has taken dramatic action to order all workers in nonessential businesses to stay home and for residents to stay indoors to the greatest extent possible. The goal is to slow and hopefully stop the spread of the virus.
For those who are providing essential services, I thank you. Doctors, nurses, first responders and others in the medical field are on the front lines of this crisis and are risking their own health and safety to help others. Men and women working to ensure our food supply remains open...from warehouse employees, to truck drivers and those in our grocery stores...also deserve our gratitude. I also commend educators working to implement distant learning initiatives for students at all grades levels. Many of our schools are also taking steps to make sure families who rely on school meal programs continue to get those services.
The impact on our economy will be severe. While many are able to work from home, thousands of businesses have been forced to close their doors and lay off employees. Government, at every level, must work together to assist businesses, organizations and individuals to recover. Efforts are already underway in both Albany and Washington to help.
Like so many others, staff members at our district office and in Albany are working remotely. However, we are available to answer questions and provide assistance in any way possible. You can contact us at 716-656-8544.
I know things feel uncertain and out of control right now, but I am encouraged by the examples of kindness I have seen and heard about. Neighbors checking on neighbors, albeit from a distance, to offer help, people supporting their neighborhood restaurants by ordering take-out food, volunteers delivering meals to the elderly and people continuing to donate blood.
New Yorkers have always demonstrated the ability to come together in a crisis. It is important that we all do our part to stop the spread of this virus. By staying informed, taking common sense steps and following the advice of health care professionals, I am confident we will overcome this public health challenge.
Be safe. Be well.