Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus is ordering changes to the services and availability of staff at the county office building in Goshen as well as calling on all county schools to close due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, officials announced Friday.
Neuhaus outlined the changes and service restrictions at county-run facilities and asked schools to close in a couple of press releases during the day on Friday as three cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the county.
“Closing schools is a preventative measure that has been taken throughout New York State and the country,” Neuhaus said in one of the releases. “After careful and serious discussion with Orange County’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Irina Gelman, and the County’s school superintendents, we feel that this is the most prudent course of action for our County schools. The intention is to protect our students, faculty and administration from contracting COVID-19, and to mitigate the spread of the virus. The safety of our County residents is our highest priority. We will continue to work vigorously, together with all of our partners, to keep residents safe and protected.”
Goshen schools are closed until April 14.
In addition to calling for schools to close, Neuhaus announced changes at county-run offices and facilities beginning on Monday, March 16.
He suspended all visitation to the county jail as of Friday, March 13, postponed Civil Service exams until the end of the month,
Division of Motor Vehicles services at the Goshen office are now limited to county residents only, will only process license and registration renewals within four weeks, will not hold permit testing except for CDLs, will only process transactions with county car dealerships, and will not process EDLs or Real ID transactions, according to the release.
In the land records office, the receiving window will only be open between 9-11 a.m. with a three-transaction limit.
Residents are encouraged to use the E-Recording system online with the county’s partners, Simplefile, EPN-Partners, CSC-INGEO and Indecomm, according to the county.
No passport applications or walk-in pistol permits will be processed. Mail-in pistol permits will be handled.
Court motions and requests for court paper copies will be handled from 9-11 a.m. at the court window, the release said.
In the release, Dr. Gelman said the best way to limit the spread of the virus is to practice basic, common sense personal hygiene such as frequently washing hands, refriaing from touching your face and avoiding contact with others.
Residents that feel ill should contact their healthcare provider before going to an office, urgent care, or hospital in order to slow the spread of the virus, the release said.
According to the release, if you are an Orange County resident and have recently traveled outside the U.S. and have questions regarding COVID-19, contact the Orange County Department of Health at (845) 291-2330.
If you feel you are experiencing symptoms, please call your medical provider immediately prior to presenting to a facility.
Due to the high volume of calls, the county encourages residents who have basic questions to visit the Orange County Health Department’s webpage at www.orangecountygov.com/health.
For general questions, residents may also contact the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) 2019 Novel Coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to speak with a NYSDOH expert who will answer questions.
This is open 24 hours a day.