ONEONTA – As first reports of three cases of COVID-19 in the City of Oneonta surfaced this evening, Common Council unanimously approved two measures to shelter workers who may need quarantine and transfer funds for COVID-19 expenditures.
“The good news is that it’s a small number, thanks to the selfless way they are quarantining themselves,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “The bad news is that we know that more people are contagious, but may have no symptoms, and that there are not enough tests. We’re doing great, but we cannot ease up.”
Hartwick College President Margaret Drugovich offered use of their dorms to the city in a phone conversation with Herzig two weeks ago. “I reached out to the fire department and Assistant Chief Jim Maloney said they could use the dorms to quarantine first responders who may have been exposed,” he said. “Hartwick got their staff to clean and prepare the rooms and made them available to us at no charge.”
Additionally, Council approved a motion that would allow Herzig to authorize up to $20,000 could be transferred from other departments budgets to pay for COVID-19 expenses, such as the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment. Such expenditures will be reported to the Finance and Human Resources Committee at the next available committee meeting after such transfers are approved, and would sunset at the end of June.