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The New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) is requesting proposals from interested property owners or developers for a full service (or gross) lease of approximately 2,800 square feet of professional office space in Albany, NY.
The year 2020 presented challenges that many considered inconceivable, but local health departments have been preparing for an outbreak like COVID-19 for years. Throughout the year, local health departments worked seven days a week to coordinate PPE distribution, set up testing sites, support persons under quarantine and isolation, inform the public, and so much more. As the membership association for local health departments, the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) has played a prominent role in bringing visibility to the work conducted by our members during COVID-19. NYSACHO’s 2020 Annual Report summarizes the work the NYSACHO team did throughout 2020 to support COVID-19 mitigation and response efforts employed by local health departments, as well as our advocacy work and key successes in other programmatic areas. The report also features a letter from NYSACHO President, Dr. Kevin D. Watkins, and Executive Director, Sarah Ravenhall, our 2020 Financial Report, and a thank you letter to NYSACHO members from the NYSACHO team.
Since the first case of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified in New York on March 1st, 2020, New York’s local health departments (LHDs) have worked around the clock fighting the highly infectious and sometimes fatal disease on the front lines of public health in their communities. LHDs have extensive experience in investigating communicable disease outbreaks, planning and conducting exercises and drills for public health emergencies, and inspecting and monitoring restaurants, hotels, and other facilities which prepared them to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Notwithstanding their experience and preparedness, LHDs faced considerable challenges in their pandemic response, including crippling staff and funding deficits; limited supplies of PPE and testing kits; the absence of a statewide communicable disease data system robust enough to handle the unprecedented number of COVID-19 cases in the state; and communication obstacles with the New York State Department of Health and state leaders. Notable strengths included intra-governmental activities, meaning support from county leadership and coordination with other county agencies (such as social service departments); coordination with schools, hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities; contact tracing and case investigations; and the use of CommCare (the NYSDOH software program introduced in May 2020 to manage COVID-19 cases in a single, statewide system) as a case investigation and contract tracing data system.
From May to July 2020, NYSACHO and the Region 2 Public Health Training Center, a training and technical assistance resource for the public health workforce in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, led an In Progress Review of LHDs’ response efforts to COVID-19. The purpose of this exercise was to identify and describe lessons learned from LHD responses throughout the first months of COVID-19. These lessons learned then informed a series of recommended actions for LHDs, county governments, and the State.
Novel Coronavirus – Dr. Howard Zucker – March 13, 2020