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County Executive Press Releases

Posted on: March 18, 2022

County Executive Steve McLaughlin Recognizes County’s Response to Pandemic

Two Years to the Week After COVID-19 Arrived, County Executive Steve McLaughlin Recognizes County’s Response to Pandemic

Two years ago this week, COVID-19 arrived in Rensselaer County, and County Executive Steve McLaughlin is offering appreciation and praise to residents and county employees for their response to the pandemic.

The first case in Rensselaer County was confirmed on March 17, 2020, a 35-year-old man who has since recovered. The first county case was confirmed as cases began to skyrocket in the state, particularly in the New York City area.

McLaughlin recognized the efforts of the county Health Department, Bureau of Public Safety, Department for the Aging, Department of Social Services, Sheriff’s Office, Hudson Valley Community College, and local emergency services departments and organizations for an outstanding response during the past two years. 

“The onset of the pandemic saw many Rensselaer County residents and county employees at their best during some of the toughest, most challenging times we have encountered. This is an opportunity to recognize those who stepped forward and provided care and assistance to those in need,” said McLaughlin.    

“So many in county government worked seven days a week to respond to the pandemic and we were enormously fortunate to have so many residents volunteer to help beat back COVID-19,” added McLaughlin.

Since the first case involving the 35-year-old man, the county has confirmed 31,060 cases of COVID-19. There have been 764,761 tests administered to date at various locations to residents, and over 41,000 residents have been vaccinated to date at various locations.

The county also expanded home delivered to seniors from 425 a day to 1500 a day at the peak of the pandemic, with the service coordinated by the Department for the Aging.

The county also maintained service at the county DMV and took extra steps to protect seniors at the county-run Van Rensselaer Manor nursing home.

Many tests and vaccinations were administered by the county, with McLaughlin working with Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas and Bureau of Public Safety Director Jay Wilson to first establish a testing site and then a vaccination clinic at Hudson Valley Community College.

“The vaccination clinic at Hudson Valley Community College was truly a team effort and helped make a difference in our response to the pandemic. County employees joined with volunteers and other municipal employees to provide vaccinations and care when they were needed most at Hudson Valley,” said Wachunas.

The county is continuing to respond to the pandemic, and continues to hold three vaccination clinics each week, including one day each week at Hudson Valley Community College.

“We continue to respond to the pandemic with common-sense and compassion. Our residents have been patient and pragmatic in dealing with COVID-19, and we appreciate their efforts,” said McLaughlin.

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