Area schools plan closures as well.

Yates County has declared a State of Emergency in response to COVID-19 effective at 12 a.m. on Sunday, March 15, 2020.


Neighboring Schuyler County declared a state of emergency effective immediately earlier Saturday.


In addition, Dundee and Penn Yan Schools will be closed for students Monday, March 16, and the schools will be open Tuesday, March 17. Then, schools will remain closed from March 18 through April 13, according to information provided by the Yates County Sheriff’s Department Saturday afternoon. Dundee Central School Superintendent Kelly Houck explains, "Staff report on Monday to complete preparations and then all staff and kids on Tuesday. After that, only essential staff will report until April 13, when we are planning on reopening."


Steuben County had also declared a state of emergency with Prattsburgh among the schools announcing closures.


Yates County


According to Public Health Director Deborah Minor, "While we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at this time, this action comes out of an abundance of caution in positioning ourselves to protect the health and welfare of our citizenry."


According to the Chairman of the Legislature, Douglas Paddock, "This virus imminently threatens the citizens of and visitors to Yates County. We are working diligently to help prevent an outbreak in our community."


Yates County Administrator Winona Flynn states, "While this measure is precautionary, Yates County has formed a task group to continue to assess and prepare for situations that may need to be addressed during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic."


The State of Emergency does not in any way impact travel and County operations will continue unchanged unless advised otherwise. The declaration does not contain specific orders or prohibitions and directs all departments and agencies of Yates County to take the steps necessary to protect life and property, public infrastructure and provide such emergency assistance deemed necessary.


In the interim, Yates County officials will continuously monitor the situation and remain in close communication with school districts and other large institutions to provide guidance and assistance as needed.


The formal Declaration, as signed by the Chairman of the Legislature, reads as follows:


"A State of Emergency is hereby declared in Yates County effective at 12:00 a.m. Sunday, March 15, 2020.


"This State of Emergency has been declared due to Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19), which the World Health Organization has designated as a worldwide pandemic.


"This State of Emergency will remain in effect for thirty (30) days or until rescinded or renewed by a subsequent order.


"As the Chief Elected Official of Yates County, I, Douglas Paddock, Chairman of the Legislature, exercise the authority given me under Article 2-B, Section 24 of the New York State Executive Law, for the purpose of procuring goods and services, and to render all required and available assistance to municipalities and school districts that is vital to the security, well-being, health and safety of the citizens of Yates County.


"I hereby direct all departments and agencies of Yates County to take whatever steps necessary to protect life and property, public infrastructure, and provide such emergency assistance deemed necessary."


Schuyler County


Schuyler County has declared a State of Emergency in response to COVID-19 effective immediately.


Additionally, Watkins Glen, Odessa-Montour, and Bradford Schools have announced closures until April 13.


According to Public Health Director Deborah Minor, "While we have zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 at this time, this action comes out of an abundance of caution in positioning ourselves to protect the health and welfare of our citizenry."


According to Schuyler County Emergency Services Director William Kennedy, "Although there are no confirmed cases within Schuyler County to date, this situation is rapidly evolving, and the threat of this virus is imminent to the citizens and visitors of Schuyler County. It is necessary that Schuyler County be proactive and fully prepared to deal with its effects.


This declaration provides Schuyler County with the flexibility to prepare and respond to this rapidly evolving situation."


The declaration does not contain specific orders or prohibitions and direct all departments and agencies of Schuyler County to take the steps necessary to protect life and property, public infrastructure and provide such emergency assistance deemed necessary.


Any and all existing directives from New York State and Federal Officials also remain in full force and effect.


In the interim, Schuyler County officials will continuously monitor the situation and remain in close communication with school districts, towns, villages and other large institutions to provide guidance and assistance as needed.