Let Counties Like Otsego Be 1st To Normalize


Let Counties

Like Otsego Be

1st To Normalize

Full Board May Act May 7

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Meg Kennedy

COOPERSTOWN – The county board will be asked to ally itself with similar counties – Schoharie, Delaware and Chenango, for instance – to be first in line to phase out of the coronavirus shutdown, county Rep. Meg Kennedy, R-Hartwick/Milford/New Lisbon, said this evening.

When it met earlier this month, Kennedy said, the county board’s Administration Committee, which she chairs, unanimously approved a resolution, which is still being drafted, asking Governor Cuomo to combine counties with like qualities – rural, with low COVID-19 infestations – in deciding which areas enter the “new normal” first.

The governor should be open to the idea, said Kennedy, because the resolution is in line with the approach he’s suggested.

Cuomo’s idea is to open Upstate one Regional Economic Development District at a time – the state has 10 such districts.  But, the county board vice chair pointed out, the Mohawk Valley district includes rural Otsego, and also more urban communities – Utica, Herkimer and so on.

In Utica’s Oneida County, for instance, 343 people have tested positive to the coronavirus.  In Otsego, only 57 as of today.

Kennedy said her committee approved the resolution unanimously, and she expects the full county board to do the same when it next meets May 7, because it is based on good science and in line with CDC policy.

23 thoughts on “Let Counties Like Otsego Be 1st To Normalize

  1. Bob Eklund

    This is a irresponsible and uninformed policy or possibly politically motivated. To not consider the influx of people from areas still under stricter limits is ludicrous. Otsego would be like the only waterhole in the Serengeti. .This is extremely poor judgement exhibited by Ms Kennedy and any on the Board who support her shortsighted attempt to placate her base.

  2. Brian hildenbrand

    Way to soon, don’t get greedy for business. Your numbers will go up and up if you open everything.

  3. Dom

    GREAT. Just what we need. New York City tourist’s bringing Coronavirus to Otsego County and it will be just because of the money. We did the right thing to keep cases low. They don’t

  4. Mike

    This would be a huge mistake, the reason our numbers have stayed as low as they have is because of the restrictions. It’s very difficult I know, but we need to be patient just a little while longer. Otherwise I feel the effort that has been put in so far will be for nothing, and not admitting that is just denial. I want to get back to life as much as the next person, I have no income right now, haven’t seen my kids in a month, cabin fever, etc. The way back to that is through patience though.

  5. Thomas Lieber

    Extremely short sited…children often lack the patience necessary… that FLAT LINE everyone refers to…needs a significant drop before things open up! Try OPENING YOUR HEARTS FIRST!

  6. Aaron

    I would love to see a soft reopening. No person or business should be required to return to work but individuals may have the opportunity. There are many small businesses that may be able to continue to practice social distancing and good sanitary procedures and begin to work again.

  7. Nancy

    The actual numbers on large scale indicate that the percent of cases in this scamdemic are the same as the normal seasonal flu? Yes take care , yes wear masks , yes test if needed but this is being politically fueled and normal needs to come back . Now you have push back for self serving reasons . $600 over and above in UI really ?? Not fiscally sound over all at all. Time to be rational and get the boot straps on.

  8. John Webb

    This is a very irresponsible proposal!!!! It will mean that we are a destination for people coming in from areas that have been highly infected, and without extensive testing it places all of us in jeopardy. Watch our 57 skyrocket to much larger numbers. This is all motivated by money and profit, and we in this area need to say NO! Move prudently, cautiously and wisely informed by the scientists and not the business owners and motivated by a concern for people’s health and not by money.

  9. Chip Northrup

    Otsego County’s number are low when compared to their demographic peers – national tourist destinations – not Utica. Opening up Otsego County to summer tourists from around the world could overwhelm the local healthcare services. Caution is advised.

  10. Irv Mowers

    Good idea, let’s get those numbers up. Plenty of empty hospital beds and refrigeration space. Undertakers need the work.

  11. Donald Hebbard

    Otsego County should not be the test case for reopening. It is easy to get caught up in the reality of sheltering in place, especially if you are now home-schooling], working from home, or a non-essential worker laid off. It is tempting to only look at the lost wages or lost opportunities, but in the greater scheme of things this is only temporary.
    It will be harder if we see an upswing in hospitalizations and death resulting from opening too soon. If you loose a loved one or family member, you cannot reverse death.

  12. dmand

    I know there are residents here who feel cabin fever. But that’s not all. Otsego County and the others mentioned are filled with small businesses that the majority probably will never re-open or file for bankruptcy. Our economy will never be the same again, at least not for the next 10 years or so. Realistically it would make sense to reopen for that reason.
    But we can’t. Our numbers may appear low compared to the rest of the state. But you know what? We are a tough county, go about our business feeling unwell for days. Virus or flu like symptoms? Economically most of us can’t afford to take time off when sick, with no benefits at work for sick or vacation days, nor health insurance. With that in mind, I believe the amount of cases reported as of today, 57, is low due to the above. Just how many people went to get tested that showed signs? How many more than the 57 positives were tested negative?
    It is my belief in the law of averages and understanding the residents of these country counties, that if we did random checking around the county, that we would find many many more that either test positive now, or show antibodies from already having had the virus but didn’t know or didn’t go to the doctors.
    You cannot count these counties numbers as actual fact, except for those that were checked out by doctors. For that reason, it is best to wait and see, wait and see,,,, and do some random testing throughout the counties first.

  13. john in cooperstown

    I suspect many of those advocating continued harsh closure enjoy a measure of economic security. Many others do not. The data are rolling in fast and furious. The pandemic is manageable. We have erred on the side of caution. So be it. Time to get back to business. Our region is perfectly ripe to do so.

  14. DON

    Ok no money but yet I got a colored card on covid 19 in the mail today this has been drilled into our heads for the past week by the media and yet we needed to spend money when we know we are going to be short just one more thing that our county does that makes no sense a phone call worked just fine and yet they tell dept heads to cut and they do not have too really like to know what these card cost but yet they ready to open the county Dazed and confused

  15. Patty

    We have done what was asked of us, Do not let these City folks that haven’t done what was right in our area to infect us all over again. We can only take care of ourselves. We can’t control what other areas bring to us. I get the economy has to get to normal but don’t do this for money instead of safety and health reasons! Many have not been tested and don’t know if they should be out and about!

  16. Ready for normal

    I think it’s a good proposal for something like that. Why does everyone feel the need to be so negative and against a chance to start somewhere. Nobody is saying that we have to open everything up at once. Let the people who have jobs in the construction field, the landscape field, any type of employment where it’s very easy to let people keep their distancing but also allows for things to slowly open up again. The media and Cuomo are doing what they have wanted to do the whole time, and that is to spread nothing but fear and death about a virus that can be killed with hot water, soap, being active and just have good personal hygiene in general

  17. Teresa Winchester

    I read with great concern about the Otsego County Administration Committees push to have our county re-open sooner rather than later from the shut-down that has been established as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Is committee chair Meg Kennedy, or any other member of this committee, a virologist? Did Chairman Kennedy or any other member of this committee consult with the county or state health department before trying to make our county the first guinea pig to test the waters for re-opening? Did the committee come to a consensus on just how many deaths are acceptable to justify early re-opening? Did the committee consider that the first areas to open will be flooded by visitors from downstate and other places where the virus is still rampant? Did the committee even discuss testing? Is the committee aware that leading health officials have emphasized that the U.S. must have widespread testing availability combined with a comprehensive contact-tracing program before states begin re-opening. And to further underscore the “due diligence” of this committee, it “UNANIMOUSLY approved a resolution, which is still being drafted.” How clueless can one get? If you trust these people, talk them about buying a bridge in Brooklyn. But your time would be better spent googling communities across the globe that have opened up too early and then registering your opinion with your county representative. The resolution will be taken up at the county’s May 6 meeting.

  18. Phillip Duane Sell

    Yes open now with special conditions and guidelines to help those most at risk, especially those in nursing homes and weakened immune systems.

  19. Doug Kendall

    This is a waste of the Administration Committee’s and the County Board’s time. It will have zero impact on the Governor’s decision and therefore amounts to grandstanding. Indeed, the Governor’s briefings since this was published indicate that the Mohawk Valley region, including Otsego County, will be among the first allowed to reopen – provided the region has a plan and an abide by the steps required by the state. Instead of worrying whether Otsego might be lumped in with ‘urban areas’ like Herkimer, maybe they would be best advised to work within our region to ensure that any reopening is done safely. If this resolution remains on Wednesday’s agenda, it should be withdrawn before it comes up for a vote.

  20. Doug Kendall

    This article states that the resolution will be considered at the “May 7 meeting” of the County Board. According to the County website, there is no May 7 meeting – the meeting is on May 6 at 10 am.

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