What is coronavirus disease (covid-19)? It’s a respiratory illness that spreads easily from person to person. There is currently no vaccine and no cure.

How does covid-19 spread? Mainly between people who are in close contact — within about six feet — through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. You also can get covid-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your own mouth, nose, or eyes.

What are the symptoms of covid-19? Mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Some patients have pneumonia in both lungs. Covid-19 can lead to death.

How can I protect myself? Stay home. Never touch your eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. If you must go out, stay at least six feet away from others. Wear a mask. (Directions for sewing a mask or making one without sewing.) Avoid contact with people who are sick, even in your household.

Where can I get a test? Things change quickly. Please call ahead. For other locations visit this NYS website.  As of September 1, testing was available at Ellenville Regional Hospital (inside and drive-thru), 10 Healthy Way, Ellenville, 845-647-6400, ext. 269.

In Kingston at HealthAlliance of the Westchester Medical Center (drive-thru or walk up), 27 Grand St., 845-303-2730; Rite Aid (drive-thru), 351 Flatbush Ave., 845-340-0664; VA Clinic,  324 Plaza Rd., 845-331-8322; and Emergency One Urgent Care Clinic, 40 Hurley Ave., 845-338-5600.

What should I do if I get sick? Isolate yourself from family members. Call a healthcare clinic. Don’t visit unless they tell you to come.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and coronavirus.gov, set up by the CDC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are reliable sources for additional information.

County government

Ulster County Recovery Service Center can be reached at 845-443-888 or RSC@co.ulster.ny.us, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday (English, Spanish) for information on the county’s response to the pandemic, and help with:

  • Local resources on health care, food, and more
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Updates from Area Transit and the county.
  • Videos and printable posters
  • Resources and updates from reliable sources
  • Opportunities to donate time and money

Websites for surrounding counties. Dutchess: information and updates or to get help or volunteerColumbia, Greene, Orange, and Putnam.

Additional resources

Please see the Resource section of this website. It includes Basic Services, Food, Health Care, Helplines, Labor Rights, Legal Services, and more.

United Ways throughout our area have set up special funds to help low-wage workers laid off, fired, or given reduced hours due to Covid-19. They also coordinate donations and volunteers. United Way of Ulster County: community programs, Emergency & Homelessness Prevention Fund, and volunteer opportunities. Other counties: United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region and United Way of the Greater Capital Region, which includes Columbia and Greene counties.

RUPCO (a nonprofit housing and community development group in Ulster and Greene), Covid-19 Community Resources (Spanish, English, Chinese), including companies now hiring in the Kingston area.

Kingston Land Trust‘s land matching service shows land where you can arrange to grow your own food for free.

Radio Kingston has a resource list here (English and Spanish).

Columbia County Sanctuary Movement has created  Mano A Mano Mutual Aid Fund to help immigrants in Columbia and Greene counties with survival needs during the pandemic.

Keeping up with the latest

The River, in collaboration with local journalists and news outlets, provides daily roundups of coronavirus news and resources with an emphasis on Hudson Valley and Catskills counties.

Updates are free via email or at The River or The Other Hudson Valley. La Voz, a Spanish-language magazine covering Latinx news and culture in the Hudson Valley, translates these roundups and co-publishes them here.

Daily audio updates: La Voz with Mariel Fiori, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m., Radio Kingston (107.9 FM or 1490 AM), and WGXC (90.7 FM), midnight, 5 a.m., 7 a.m., or 9 a.m. Or, visit the audio archive online.