Two COVID-19 deaths in Sullivan County and more

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Two COVID-19 deaths in Sullivan County

MONTICELLO, NY — Sullivan County reported its first two COVID-19-related deaths on March 31 as confirmed cases continue climbing past the 100 mark.

“Our entire staff sends its condolences to the families of those who passed away,” Public Health Director Nancy McGraw said. “We are doing all we can to limit future cases and deaths, but this is an opportunistic virus that is particularly hard on our vulnerable populations. Please, everyone, continue to wash your hands regularly, physically distance yourself from others, avoid unnecessary travel and call ahead to the hospital or your healthcare provider before seeking care for a fever, cough or shortness of breath.”

Out of respect for the families’ privacy and following federal HIPAA guidelines, the county is not releasing further information about the deceased at this time. 

Emergency funding proposed for PA first responders

HARRISBURG, PA — State Rep. Frank Burns on March 27 co-sponsored legislation that would provide fire departments and EMS companies with one-time emergency grants to help them address the coronavirus.

“First responders sacrifice themselves daily for the benefit of our communities,” Burns said. “This legislation would give our fire and EMS companies some much-needed support in this time of crisis.”

Under the legislation being introduced, a COVID-19 Crisis Fire & EMS Grant Program would provide a one-time grant to each fire and EMS company agency that has already been approved by the state for a 2019-20 fiscal year grant.  The grants will be funded by a one-time transfer of $30 million from the Volunteer Companies Loan Fund.

No evidence of chronic wasting disease

ALBANY, NY — Hunters in New York harvested an estimated 224,190 deer during the 2019-20 hunting seasons, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced on March 30.

The DEC tested 2,658 harvested deer across the state and found no evidence of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the herd. The DEC partners with cooperating meat processors and taxidermists in obtaining samples for testing each year. 

Aid for businesses 

MONTICELLO, NY — Resources to help businesses respond to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being assembled on the Sullivan County Planning Division’s website, under the Technical Assistance and Funding Resources page. Go to tinyurl.com/vsfacjb for information on safety protocols, NYS regulations, resources for employees, grant and loan opportunities, and more. The site will be updated as new programs emerge.

Sullivan County’s economic development agencies are working to harness available resources to assist local businesses affected by the New York State PAUSE. To get an assessment of what is needed, businesses are asked to visit www.bit.ly/scsmallbusinessloan to fill out the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Impact Assessment Questionnaire by survey by Friday, April 3.

Businesses that wish to apply for the Small Business Disaster loan are advised to apply online. The best times to apply would be at either earlier in the day or later at night. However, as applications continue to surge, SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance has provided an alternate method for applicants to submit and upload forms while the application portal is down for maintenance. Here’s the link to the new application page with instructions for uploading documents: www.disasterloan.sba.gov/apply-for-disaster-loan/index.html.  

State senators applaud bipartisan legislation

HARRIBURG, PA — Senators John Yudichak (I-14), John Gordner (R-27), Lisa Baker (R-20) and Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R -120) issued the following statement regarding the passage of House Bill 68, which makes changes to Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation law to address the COVID-19 coronavirus, and the federal CARES Act which has passed Congress.

“Coupled with the recently passed federal CARES Act, significant changes will be made to the unemployment compensation law to expand benefits to displaced employees and extend eligibility to small business owners and independent contractors who have been put out of work. We will continue to work together to ensure that our businesses and employees, especially our small business owners have access to the resources they need to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.”

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