B y PJ Ferguson

Washington County is urging visitors, weekenders, second-home owners and short-term rental owners to stay away during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter sent out by Washington County Board of Supervisors chairman Board Samuel Hall, he outlined the issues that the county faces by welcoming visitors.

Essex County issued a similar letter first, signaling Washington County to follow suit. The county has also been receiving calls about increased traffic in nearby lake towns, with community members noticing an “influx of people coming up now rather than late April or May,” according to county attorney and public information officer Roger Wickes.

“The virus doesn’t move itself,” said Wickes, “movement is the enemy.”

Despite being less densely populated than some other areas of New York, the message Washington County is attempting to send is that the virus is everywhere.

“Unfortunately, seeking refuge from the more populous areas will not protect you from this global pandemic,” Hall wrote.

He stated that one of Washington County’s eight confirmed positive cases stems from a non-county resident arriving thinking they “would receive better access to testing.”

Hall indicates in the letter that Washington County has zero hospitals and only a few healthcare providers, which are already overwhelmed by “the current needs of its residents.”

“Coming to Washington County will not result in faster or better testing, or care, than that available at one’s domicile,” Hall said. “In fact, the wait could actually be longer with resources being devoted downstate.”

Of the more than 37,000 positive cases in New York State, more than 21,000 of those cases are in the five boroughs of New York City. Additionally, almost 10,000 cases stem from Nassau and Westchester counties combined.

Hall is demanding property owners remove short-term rental listings from services such as AirBnB and VRBO, declaring them a violation of the Governor’s executive order banning non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason.

The county is also requesting seasonal residents to “remain where they are and not come to Washington County until the crisis has passed.”

“Only by working together can we limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep all of us save from this deadly threat,” said Hall.

The number of cases is expected to keep rising with Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing that the pandemic will reach its peak by the end of April.

While there are eight confirmed cases in Washington County, 102 individuals are currently under investigation.

The Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting via teleconference on Wednesday, April 1 at 10 a.m. to discuss an update on county operations, audit committee process and other business that comes before the board.




Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , ,

Supervisors change county budget officer

The Washington County Board of Supervisors

By PJ Ferguson This morning’s special Washington County Board of Supervisors meeting was wrapped in under 10 minutes, however, with […]

Obituary: Gladys M. Monger

Monger obit photo

West Pawlet, VT – Gladys Monger, 90 years old, passed away on May 25, 2020. She was born in Granville, […]

Obituary: Ruth A. Beckett

Ruth A Beckett obit photo

Ruth A. Beckett, 93, went to be with the Lord on May 21, 2020. She is survived by a daughter, Joan […]

State budget shortfalls will have minimal impact on village, town


By Matthew Saari While public schools across the state sweat and ponder how much state money they will receive for […]

Canal to open – but not here, Lock 12 shut down till August

Canal Open

By PJ Ferguson The New York State Canal Corporation is targeting to open all locks along the Champlain Canal on […]

Boat memorial restored

Boat memorial

By PJ Ferguson Members of American Legion Post 83 helped to rebuild the boat memorial that stands on the corner […]

Tax deadline extended for village residents


By Matthew Saari Residents of the village of Granville will have an additional three weeks to submit their annual property […]

Village OK sought for power line; hearing on June 16

tdi route

By PJ Ferguson   A new project could bring in excess of $200,000 in additional property taxes per year to […]

Amanda Peet plays housewife turned murderer

DIRTY JOHN -- "No Fault" Episode 201 -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Isabella Vosmikova/USA Network)

By Barb Oates One of the most important things about a divorce is learning to pick your battles. For Betty […]

Ask Matt: Why is ‘celebrity’ so overused in show titles?


By Matt Roush Question: It’s tiring to see the use of “star” and “celebrity” in show titles. I clicked on […]

Obituary: Amy R. Phipps

Amy Phipps obit photo

Amy R. Phipps 73, passed away at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield Illinois on Tuesday April 28, 2020. Amy was […]

Obituary: James Eli McKeighan

James Eli McKeighan obit photo

Rupert-James Eli McKeighan, 89, of Rupert, passed away Thursday, May 21, 2020 at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington. […]