After a nine week pause, some businesses in the Mid-Hudson Region will reopen

After a nine week pause, some businesses in the Mid-Hudson Region will reopen on Tuesday, including construction, manufacturing, retail (for curbside pickup only), wholesale trade and agriculture.

The seven-county region, which includes Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties, has shown a significant downward trend in the spread of coronavirus and met the seven metrics the state required to enter Phase 1 of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s four-phase reopening plan.

“The counties in this region have worked hard to get to this stage. We stayed home, stayed safe and flattened the curve, and now we are eager to get back to business,” Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “The businesses that will reopen will make safety their first priority.  We want people working, and we also want to keep our communities safe.”

Main Street businesses will need guidance during the reopening and county officials will be there for them, Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County Executive, said.

“We were smart, we were vigilant, and, now, we begin a new chapter,” Molinaro said. “As we begin to reopen, we will keep supporting our businesses, families and farmers. As we keep making smart choices, we will protect lives while helping our community get back to life.”

All seven county executives who are part of the Mid-Hudson Regional Control Room that will monitor the metrics, welcomed the transition to Phase 1.

“While it is critical that we begin reopening the economy and getting people back to work, we will approach this first phase and each additional phase with ‘safety first, people always’ as our motto,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

The lessons learned over the past few months will now be put to good use, Steve Neuhaus, the Orange County Executive, said

“Our region is anxious to get back to work and we look forward to helping businesses as they restart our local economy,” Neuhaus said. “Practical social distancing and wearing masks will help us open all phases as soon as possible.”

A major part of the Phase 1 plan includes having contact tracers notify those who have been exposed to COVID-19.  Contact tracers throughout the region will be trained this weekend and begin work on Tuesday.  The region’s contact tracers include a mix of health department employees, other county employees, summer interns and volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps.

Phase 1 will last for two weeks while the number of COVID-19 cases in the Mid-Hudson region are closely monitored. If the downward trend reverses and the numbers increase, the state can put the region back on pause.

But if the epidemic continues to subside, the region will progress to Phase 2, which includes professional services, retail, administrative support and real estate.  Phase 3 includes restaurants and food service and the last phase, Phase 4, includes arts, entertainment, recreation and education.

The state’s seven criteria for reopening included: a 14-day decline in net hospitalizations; a decline in death; fewer than 2 new hospitalizations per 100,000 residents; at least 30 percent availability of hospital beds; 30 percent availability of ICU beds; and an aggressive testing and contact tracing program.

Businesses seeking more information on the reopening guidelines should see the Forward New York Business Opening Lookup Toolkit  at

Rabies Remains a Risk in Putnam

Putnam County Department of Health reminds residents to leave wildlife babies alone and vaccinate pets 

BREWSTER, NY— Rabies is most often seen among wild animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes. While humans, household pets and livestock are also at risk for this potentially fatal disease, measures can be taken to prevent transmission. Avoiding wild animals, and keeping current with pet and livestock vaccination, are the best ways to offer protection in the event of a bite or scratch from a rabid animal. 

While rabies is present year-round the risk of rabies increases in the spring and summer as people spend more time outdoors and bats return to the local area. Well-intentioned people may want to “rescue” young wildlife that appear to be abandoned, when in reality, a mother is usually nearby.  

Even if the animal looks healthy, approaching a wild or stray animal is never a good idea. It is unsafe both for the animal and for the person. “Trying to save an animal can actually jeopardize them,” says Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, M.D.  “Because if a human comes in contact with this wild animal and the health department determines that person’s risk for rabies as high, the animal will need to be euthanized to test its brain tissue” continues Dr. Nesheiwat.  

Families should teach children to avoid all wild and stray animals and to tell an adult if they have come into contact with an unfamiliar animal. Rather than approaching a baby animal that seems to have been abandoned, residents are urged to leave the animal alone, or call a wildlife rehabilitator to see if the animal truly needs assistance.  

Bats are another big concern. According to the PCDOH, bats remain the number one reason for rabies treatments. “If you find a bat in your home, it is important to capture it safely and contact the health department for an exposure assessment,” urges Dr. Nesheiwat. “Thankfully, post-exposure shots can prevent rabies if given to a person that has been bitten by an animal with suspected or confirmed rabies,” he adds. To safely capture a bat, watch the popular demo from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), available on the Putnam County website at  

Feral cats also present a serious problem and the Feral Cat Task Force helps to reduce this source which may spread rabies. The Feral Cat Task Force has captured, spayed/neutered, vaccinated and returned 87 cats, and adopted or fostered 25 kittens so far in 2020. For people interested in volunteering or making a donation in support of this program, please contact the Health Department at 845-808-1390 ext. 43160. 

All animal bites or contact with wild animals should be reported promptly to the PCDOH at 845-808-1390. After hours or on weekends/holidays report the incident by calling the department’s environmental health hotline at 845-808-1390 and press “3.” A representative will promptly return your call. If a family pet encounters a wild animal, avoid immediate handling of your pet, or use rubber gloves and call the health department. PCDOH personnel will facilitate testing wild animals for possible rabies after an incident involving human or pet contact. 

Safeguarding pets and livestock with vaccination is important as it protects them and the people they come in contact with. The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) is currently urging all pet owners to protect their cats, dogs and ferrets by contacting their local veterinarian to keep them up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations. Each year, the PCDOH has traditionally run three free rabies clinics in March, July and November. Unfortunately, due to the novel coronavirus, the March clinic was cancelled and the next one, usually held in July, remains unscheduled at this time. For those looking to stay informed of PCDOH rabies clinics, be sure to follow @PutnamHealthNY on social media or call the PCDOH at 845-808-1390 to be placed on an email list.  

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services, provided directly and through collaboration, include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at; or visit our social media sites @PutnamHealthNY on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  

Break down of positive cases by Towns in Putnam County 5/21/2020 Latest


American Red Cross Virtual Family Assistance Center in New York State

The American Red Cross across the regions of New York State have developed a program in response to
COVID-19 to support individuals and families who have lost family members to death as a result of
COVID-19. The program will link crisis counselors with families to provide emotional and spiritual
support, as well as targeted short-term case management to assist with navigating through the
challenging processes they might be faced with as a result of the death. This might include challenges
with moving the family member’s body through the hospital, nursing home, medical examiner and
funeral home systems in this time when those systems may be overwhelmed and their processes may
be different than they normally are. They may also include linkage to legal resources for estate,
custody, immigration or other issues related to the death.

The following links to an online intake form can be submitted by a family member, a friend who thinks
someone needs help, or an agency on behalf of the family. For those without access to the needed
online technology, the phone number will link the caller to an intake person who will assist with the
initial steps for getting assistance.

The program is expected to operate for as long as families will benefit from the service or through the
month of September.

Break down of positive cases by Towns in Putnam County 5/20/2020 Latest


Break down of positive cases by Towns in Putnam County 5/20/2020


Break down of positive cases by Towns in Putnam County 5/19/2020


Putnam County Prepares to Reopen Economic Development Arm Urges Residents to Stay Loyal and Shop Local

In an effort to help small businesses reopen and recover from the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 shutdown, the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) has formed an advisory committee of local small businesses to help provide, share and disseminate information as we accelerate toward a post-Coronavirus world.

The PCEDC’s Small Business Advisory Committee represents a broad cross section of industries and business leaders from every corner of the county.  Members include Tom Feighery, Fiddler’s Green Pub and Putnam County Project Manager;  Bryan Kelly, AON Physical Therapy;  Ed Galligan, Carmel Flower Shop;  Chris DeBellis, Contractor & Assistant Town Code Enforcement Officer;  Maria Quezada, Six Diamonds Tree Service and Landscaping;  Brian Ledley, Ledley Food Service;  Stephanie Tomlinson, Salon Uccelli;  Kimball Gell, Dolly’s Restaurant at Garrison’s Landing;  Nisim Sachakov, Limni & Mezzaluna Restaurants;  Angela Briante, Briante Realty Group; and Emily Simoness, SPACE on Ryder Farm.  PCEDC Board members on the Committee include Richard Weiss, CPA, Founder and Consultant Weiss Advisory Group, Margie Keith, retired Cornell Cooperative Extension Executive Director, Bob Zubrycki, Concertmaster for the American Symphony Orchestra and Walter Recher, SmallBall Marketing.

“This is a forum for small businesses to voice their concerns and share ideas that will help them to survive and prepare for a new economic reality” said Kathleen Abels, President, PCEDC.  “Since the pandemic shut down life as we once knew it, we have seen many small businesses suffer and worry about their ability to carry on.   We implore county residents to stay loyal to Putnam’s businesses by continuing to Shop Putnam now and to hold on just a little longer until more area businesses are allowed to reopen.”

“Putnam County is one community, the same community that encompasses the heroes of the pandemic, such as health care workers, first responders, delivery  people, sanitation and utility workers, grocers and other essential businesses that have continued to serve us at their own peril,” said PCEDC Board Chairman Daniel Leary, Esquire.

The PCEDC has posted on their website,, ongoing COVID-19 Related Business Resources to assist businesses to stay abreast of opportunities and orders from the State and Federal Government.  NYS Industry Re-Opening Guidelines, including mandatory practices, recommended best practices and templates for business safety plans, can be found on Forward New York at

The PCEDC Small Business Advisory Committee will continue to meet during the coming months to promote Shop Putnam and to develop strategies to adjust to new trends in the way we think, live, work, learn, shop, travel and entertain.

For more information, contact Kathleen Abels, President, Putnam County Economic Development Corporation (845) 242-2212

About Putnam County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC)

The mission of the Putnam County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) is to drive the economic vitality of Putnam County by working to attract appropriate new businesses, broaden the County’s tax base, retain and grow employment opportunities within the County and aid in the enhancement of the quality of life for residents. The PCEDC acts as a facilitator, bringing together businesses, government agencies and other stakeholders.  Recently, the PCEDC has pivoted its focus to assist existing Main Street businesses to survive and recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.

For more information, please visit

Break down of positive cases by Towns in Putnam County 5/15/2020


Break down of positive cases by Towns in Putnam County 5/14/2020