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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2020
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


HEALTH DEPARTMENT ALERTS RESIDENTS OF POTENTIAL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) EXPOSURE IN EAST RAMAPO CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

Recommends Closure of Affected Schools

New City, NY- - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert inform residents that Rockland County has a total of 6 positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Rockland County, all within the Town of Ramapo.

Three of the cases are students from the East Ramapo Central School District who attended Hempstead Elementary, Pomona Middle School and Ramapo High School.

"I am recommending the closure of Hempstead Elementary, Pomona Middle School, Ramapo High School for fourteen days from the date of potential exposure," said Dr. Ruppert. "These schools are now considered potential exposure sites and anyone who visited the schools on the exposure dates may have been exposed to COVID-19 and must precautionary quarantine for fourteen days. This includes all faculty, staff, students, visitors, and parents who spent time within the schools."

Anyone who visited the following locations in Rockland County may have been exposed to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and must precautionary quarantine:

Ramapo High School

  • Wednesday, March 4, 2020 – Recommended closure until March 19, 2020 (Precautionary quarantine must continue until March 19, 2020.)

Hempstead Elementary

  • Friday, March 6, 2020 – Recommended closure until March 21, 2020 (Precautionary quarantine must continue until March 21, 2020.)

Pomona Middle School

  • Friday, March 6, 2020 – Recommended closure until March 21, 2020 (Precautionary quarantine must continue until March 21, 2020.)

What does precautionary quarantine mean?

  • You must stay away from other people for the entire quarantine period. You cannot go to work, school, religious services or any other public place. You should not have guests in your home.
  • As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home.
  • You should use a separate bathroom, if available. If you need to share a bathroom, you must clean the bathroom after you use it every time.
  • You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider's office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
  • Food and other items that you need should be left outside your room door.
  • You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
  • You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. If you feel sick, call your private physician for further guidance.

Additional guidance from the CDC on preparing your household for Coronavirus is available on the Rockland County Department of Health COVID-19 website: http://rocklandgov.com/departments/health/coronavirus-covid-19/

The Rockland County Department of Health is working closely with the East Ramapo Central School District and Rockland BOCES to ensure the quarantine is effective and that those under quarantine have the necessary support.

Updated numbers of individuals under quarantine are not currently available due to the rapidly changing nature of this situation. The Rockland County Health Department is following CDC and New York State Department of Health protocols.

It is recommended that Rockland residents take the following precautions to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • Stay home if sick and contact your medical provider before visiting their office.
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay up to date on CDC travel health notices: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices

If you have any concerns about COVID-19, call the New York State Department of Health's Novel Coronavirus 24-hour hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to speak with a NYSDOH expert who will answer questions.

Please see our cancellations page for up to date information on meeting, event, class and exam cancellations and/or postponements.