Official Release

Robert W. Hayssen, Chairman Board of Supervisors Seneca County One DiPronio Drive, Waterloo, NY 13165 315.539.1700

For Immediate Release 3.15.2020 

On Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 10:00 am, the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Mr. Robert W. Hayssen has declared a State of Emergency in Seneca County in response to the Novel Corona Virus COVID -19. Further, Seneca County Officials working in collaboration with all Seneca County school district superintendents have made the decision to suspend classes and extra-curricular activities at all Seneca County schools effective Wednesday, March 18 2020. It is anticipated schools will be closed through Apri1 14, 2020. As a result of Executive Order 202.1, issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, local school districts are relieved from their 180 day requirement due to the COVID-19outbreak in NYS.

Seneca County Emergency Manager, Melissa Taylor, states “The declaration can be updated at any time, but will remain in effect for the next thirty days”. Mr. Robert Hayssen, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors states, “This decision was made out of concern for the health and safety of Seneca County residents.” He further stated that “We understand the totality of the impact that this decision will have upon families in Seneca County but we must come together and follow the recommendations outlined by public health.”

According to County Manager, C. Mitchell Rowe, “The Seneca County State of Emergency was declared after consultation with the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Seneca County School Superintendents, and the Directors of Public Health and Emergency Management.” Seneca County’s Public Health Director, Vickie Swinehart states, “There are no cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Seneca County and we are taking these measures out of an abundance of caution to protect our most vulnerable populations and to encourage social distancing.” Social distancing is an effective public health strategy used to prevent and slow down the transmission of COVID-19.

“This emergency declaration aligns with the decisions of other counties across the state. We are urging all Seneca County residents to follow the recommendations from the Seneca County Health Department and we will continue to respond to this emergency with a unified response,” stated Seneca County Manager, C. Mitchell Rowe. We are calling on all Seneca County residents to do their part to adhere to the social distancing recommendations, to stay home when sick and to use common sense practices such as good hand hygiene and cough etiquette.

School district officials will be communicating with their school families utilizing their communications plans. Updates on COVID-19 can be found at www.co.seneca.ny.us or at https://health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus

Robert W. Hayssen, Chair, Seneca County Board of Supervisors