As our County Board continues to meet remotely via phone, rather than personally coming to these Legislative Chambers and having face-to-face discussion and debate as we have since 1806 in this County, we are very much aware of the impact COVID-19 is having on Allegany County, New York State, and our country. Our thoughts and prayers continue for each one directly affected by this. Many individuals have been diagnosed with the virus, they have been very sick, and regular daily activities for America have been disrupted – this remains a very serious concern.
In the United States, the COVID-19 virus has infected approximately 999,000 people, and there have been 56,035 deaths. In New York State, there have been 291,996 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and there have been 17,303 deaths statewide with 337 deaths in the last 24 hours. As of 2:00 p.m. on April 27, 2020, Allegany County’s COVID-19 statistics are as follows:
Confirmed Cases: 33
Recovered Cases: 28
COVID-19 Related Deaths: 1
Total Quarantined/Isolated to Date: 429
Released from Quarantine/Isolation: 396
Currently Quarantined/Isolated: 33
Statement from legislative Chair Curt Crandall:
Your legislators are very grateful for all of those who have been an essential part of keeping the impact in our area as minimal as possible. When I say essential, I am talking in a literal sense, not just those designated essential on a government list. We have folks in Allegany County who have stepped up and contributed in countless ways and continue do so every day. While some of these jobs may not get recognized as front-line positions, we know that they are just as critical in helping our friends and neighbors get through these challenging times. From the phone call to check in on someone, to the masks being made with loving hands, to the workers keeping areas cleaned, and those providing meals for those in need – this list is endless. I have heard so many good-Samaritan stories; thank you all so much. As we go forward, we will try to highlight a few of those going the extra mile, but I am sure we will only get the tip of the iceberg since there are so many of you – Thank You All!
As we look ahead, we are anxious to get local businesses open and the economy back to work. It should go without saying, but I will say it anyway -- this needs to be done in a way that does not jeopardize the gains that have been made from a public health standpoint, and certainly those considerations and factors must be part of any plan to reopen. From the beginning, Allegany County has been proactive with comprehensive information and COVID-19 resources for businesses and individuals on the Allegany County website based on information from various sources. These include Congressman Reed’s weekly updates, information from the New York State Economic Development Council, Empire State Development Corporation, and other sources. The information includes suggestions to work with ACCORD, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Incubator Works, and others with the information being updated daily as federal and state programs are revised.
For the past few years, Allegany County has utilized County business, education, and government to create a special Steering Committee with the goal of using the committee member’s knowledge and expertise together with the support they bring from these three key economic sectors to advance the economic development initiatives of Allegany County. I recently had discussion with Legislator Deb Root, Chair of the Planning and Economic Development Committee, as well as Dr. Craig Clark, Executive Director of the Allegany County IDA, about utilizing this established committee to formulate steps and any needed action on the part of this Board of Legislators to get Allegany County back in business as soon as practical. Governor Cuomo recently announced that New York State is going to make reopening decisions on a regional basis. Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will lead those efforts for the Western New York Region which Allegany County is part of. The Steering Committee will be meeting to discuss in detail the specifics of Allegany County commerce and will help to fold those into the recommendations and plan getting worked on by the Lt Governor. Allegany County is not New York City, nor is it Erie County, and our rural strength is an asset to be utilized as we move ahead. Dr. Clark will be reaching out to the membership of the committee, expand it as needed, and concentrate its efforts towards a robust return to work post COVID-19.
Allegany County should not be closed any longer than it needs to be. Developing a plan for reopening when it’s right is crucial for the health and economic stability of our County.