COVID-19 at Sullivan County jail, Pike Commissioners respond to sheriff and more

What's going on in the Upper Delaware May 20 to May 26


Contact tracers

LIBERTY, NY — Sullivan County Public Health Director Nancy McGraw announced on May 15 that the State of New York has launched an urgent effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. The state plans to hire a team of 6,400 to 17,000 staff, depending on the projected number of COVID-19 cases, to support the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) and local health departments with contact tracing in communities across the state. Interested parties may find more information at

Opening waterpark plans

MONTICELLO, NY — The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark plans to reopen on Friday, June 19. The company said in its announcement, “While our reopening timeline has evolved in conjunction with orders from our state government, we anticipate opening on June 19. Our official reopening date and specifics of both capacity and available resort amenities will coincide with local, state and federal guidelines of when it is safe and practical to do so.” The company is providing refunds to guests who had reservations through June 18 and before.

Sullivan County  COVID-19 cases by zip code

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — On May 17, Sullivan County officials unveiled a new, interactive map that shows the status of COVID-19 cases. It breaks down the number of cases by zip codes in Sullivan County. There is also a feature that allows people to find testing locations. View the map at

Liberty shooting

LIBERTY, NY — Tyrell Chandler, 30, was arrested by the Liberty Police Department on May 11 after an investigation into a shooting that occurred the previous day in the Village of Liberty. Police had responded to the Knight’s Inn Hotel where police found a 34-year-old male victim with a gunshot wound in his leg. The victim was transported by Mobile Medic ambulance and was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center. A subsequent investigation resulted in identifying Tyrell Chandler as the suspect. Chandler was located at a residence in the Town of Fallsburg and was taken into custody without further incident. 

No flavored vape

NEW YORK STATE — As of Monday, May 18, the sale of flavored vape products is banned in New York State. The law was passed as part of the 2021 budget. As part of the legislation, no tobacco products will be sold in pharmacies in the state, making New York the second state in the country to ban such sales. Massachusetts banned such sales at the end of 2018. Smoking cessation advocates say the laws will help prevent nicotine addiction among teens.

Celebrating with lunch

MONTICELLO, NY — The Monticello Kiwanis Club showed their gratitude to the staff at Hudson River Healthcare Center in Monticello last week. In conjunction with Tilly’s Diner and Miss Monticello Diner, the healthcare workers were thanked for their heroic service to the community by having lunch provided to them for two days. They enjoyed sandwiches, hamburgers, veggie burgers, fries and cheesecake for dessert. In addition to recognizing the heroic healthcare providers, individual members of the Kiwanis Club donated Pampers for newborns and infants for distribution by the Sullivan County Emergency Community Assistance Center. 

Picking up litter

MONTICELLO, NY — The Sullivan County Legislature announced that the county’s Annual Roadside Litter Pluck Event will take place from Monday, May 18 through Tuesday, June 30. During that time, the county will waive the waste disposal fee for roadside litter plucked bags through the county’s Parks, Recreation and Beautification Department and the Division of Public Works. Legislator Luis Alvarez encourages residents to check with their local municipalities, as there are several organized litter pluck events being planned throughout the county. He noted that litter pluck can be done while social distancing.

COVID-19 at the jail

MONTICELLO, NY — On May 11, the administration at the Sullivan County Jail was notified that an inmate had tested positive for COVID-19. On May 12, 20 inmates who had been living in close proximity to the inmate were tested. On May 13, it was learned that 17 of those 20 inmates came back positive. The remaining 56 inmates at the Sullivan County Jail were then tested on May 14, officials were informed over the weekend that 15 of those inmates were showing positive test results. “At this point, the jail remains locked down as a safety precaution,” said Sheriff Mike Schiff. “Of the inmates who tested positive, a few are showing mild symptoms while most are showing no symptoms at all. We are diverting any new defendants who are committed to the custody of the sheriff to other jails in the region.”

No authority for sheriff

PIKE COUNTY, PA — The Pike County Sheriff recently issued a statement regarding Gov. Wolf’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order saying, in part, that the sheriff’s office “will not be enforcing, if asked to do so, any order that violates either the United States Constitution or the Pennsylvania Constitution.” The Pike County Commissioners say that the Pike County Sheriff’s Office does not have the authority to enforce this order. That authority lies with the Pennsylvania State Police or municipal police.

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