Mask mandate ends for Sullivan County and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region February 17 to 23

Posted 2/15/22

Mask mandate ends for Sullivan County

MONTICELLO, NY — Statewide indoor business mask-or-vaccine requirements have been lifted and will remain optional for businesses, local governments and …

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Mask mandate ends for Sullivan County and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region February 17 to 23

Posted

Mask mandate ends for Sullivan County

MONTICELLO, NY — Statewide indoor business mask-or-vaccine requirements have been lifted and will remain optional for businesses, local governments and counties to enforce. While the protocol was an effective tool to address the winter surge and the rise of the omicron variant, with case counts plummeting and hospitalizations sharply declining, this temporary measure is no longer needed statewide, according to an announcement issued by Gov. Kathy Hochul on February 9.

Following that announcement, Joshua Potosek, county manager in Sulllivan County, announced that with certain exceptions, the mask mandate would no longer be in effect on county property. There are several locations and situations where masks will remain a requirement for all, regardless of vaccination status: the Care Center at Sunset Lake in Liberty, the county courthouse in Monticello, family court (in the annex of the Sullivan County Government Center) in Monticello, the lobby of the department of family services in Liberty, the COVID-19 vaccination clinics conducted by public health services, Move Sullivan and Sullivan County transportation buses (and any other county vehicles used to transport the public), the Sullivan County Jail in Monticello, and for all direct-patient-care staff of the public health department’s Certified Home Health Agency.

Schools, nursing homes and other congregate settings remain under a state mask mandate, and businesses continue to be free to set standards stricter than those put in place by the state. “Wearing a mask remains a recommended way to help avoid respiratory illnesses like COVID-19, and both employees and the general public should never be made to feel that they cannot take this preventive action on their own,” said Potosek. “That said, I welcome this step toward a return to pre-pandemic life.”

Baker comments on redistricted map

HARRISBURG, PA — With PA’s redistricting, the district represented by Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20) is changing and her district will no longer include all of Wayne County. Here’s what she said about the switch.

“I have very much enjoyed the opportunity and responsibility of serving the people and communities of the 20th Senatorial District, as it has been constituted for the past decade. I am fully committed to providing the same level of accessible and energetic representation over the remaining months of this legislative session. Unfortunately, a new census invariably means the lines shift for every district, in order to comply with constitutional standards. No legislator gets to draw a preferred district, despite some claims to the contrary. I am disappointed I will no longer have the opportunity to serve all of Wayne County or the Mountain Top region of Luzerne County. However, I am grateful for the many friendships and longstanding relationships that will continue to influence my service now and in the future.

“Every legislator must abide by the map negotiated and approved by the five-member commission. I am familiar with the new communities added to the 20th District and I look forward to establishing working relationships with the taxpayers, officials, and community leaders in these new areas.”

Wayne County court orders call for applicants to fill auditor vacancy

HONESDALE, PA — On February 10, the Wayne County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Janine Edwards issued an order regarding the appointment to fill a vacancy in the office of county auditor.

According to the order, any interested registered elector of Wayne County and the Democratic party (as of January 2020) wishing to fill the unexpired term for auditor Kathy Schloesser may submit a written application in the form of a letter of interest to the Wayne County District Court Administrator, 925 Court Street, Honesdale, PA 18431.

 The court shall vote on filling the vacancy and file written notice of the decision with the Wayne County Prothonotary.

Gov. Hochul announces another record year for state parks in 2021

ALBANY, NY — Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that New York’s state parks, historic sites, campgrounds and trails welcomed a record-setting 78.4 million visits in 2021, continuing the robust level of visitation seen since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total visits statewide increased in 2021 by more than 427,000, driven by a dramatic rebound of more than three million visitors at Niagara Falls State Park compared to 2020, when international border tourism was curtailed due to COVID-19 protocols. In addition to the total attendance, state parks also set a new record for 2021 overnight visitation at campgrounds, with campsite, cabins and cottages booked for more than 787,000 nights.

Hochul’s proposed FY 2023 budget includes $200 million in capital funding for state parks, an 80 percent increase from the current level, to enhance the NY Parks 100 capital initiative. A new state park is being created in the City of Kingston and is expected to open to the public later this year.

New Pike County assistance for families homeowners and landlords

MILFORD, PA — The Board of Commissioners of Pike County have established new child-care scholarship, mortgage assistance, and landlord incentive programs. Information about all of these programs can be obtained at https://www.PikeForward.org or by contacting Robert Ruiz, executive director for Human Services at Pike County at 570/296-3434 or rruiz@pikepa.org.

Child-care scholarships are available for Pike County families that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and that have income below 80 percent of the area median—up to $63,100 for a family of four.

Homeowners who reside in Pike County, are behind in mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and have income less than 80 percent of the area median can receive up to three months of assistance with mortgage payments.

A new incentive is available to help landlords create or maintain affordable housing in Pike County. In exchange for up to $25,000 of assistance with eligible repairs, landlords who participate in the program will agree to rent units to households with income below 80 percent of the area median and to charge rent at or below the fair market rent—currently $1,368 for a two-bedroom apartment.

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