KINGSTON, N.Y. — Ulster County offices that have been closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic will reopen on Tuesday, June 1, County Executive Pat Ryan announced Friday.
Visitors to the offices will have to wear face masks unless they provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19, Ryan said, and the Department of Motor Vehicles office in the County Office Building on Fair Street in Uptown Kingston will remain open by appointment only.
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“This is a major milestone for our community,” Ryan said in a statement. “We have seen a sharp decrease in positive cases because our residents have been getting vaccinated.
Ryan said even with the offices reopening, the county will “continue to take necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.”
“The health and safety of the 1,400 individuals who work for Ulster County, along with the tens of thousands of residents that we serve, remains of utmost importance to me,” he said.
By the numbers
The number of active COVID cases in Ulster and Dutchess counties continues to trend downward, according to the latest data.
Ulster County reported Friday that its total had fallen to 63 from the 68 reported Thursday. The last time Ulster reported fewer active cases was March 23, 2020, when the total was 45 and the local outbreak was less than a month old.
Active cases in Ulster County peaked at 2,622 in late January of this year, then began falling steadily amid the ramping up of vaccinations.
The county on Friday reported just five new COVID diagnoses out of the most recent 599 test results received, a rate of 0.8%, and no new COVID-related deaths.
Ulster has had 15,149 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the local outbreak began in March 2020, including 14,825 recoveries and 261 deaths.
Dutchess County reported Friday that it had 165 active cases of COVID-19, down from 171 a day earlier and once far below the mid-January peak of 2,576.
Dutchess has had 29,359 confirmed cases of COVID since the local outbreak began and 444 deaths. No additional deaths were reported Friday.
Dutchess’ latest rate of positive test results is 0.83%, and the county said Friday that 10 residents remain hospitalized, the same as the day before.
The state’s online vaccination tracker showed on Friday that 105,926 residents of Ulster County, or 59.3% of the population, had received at least one dose of COVID vaccine, and 91,591 (51.3%) were fully vaccinated.
The state also said 69.1% of the Ulster County residents ages 18 and older had received at least one dose.
In Dutchess County, according to the state, 158,713 residents, or 54% of the population, had received at least one dose as of Thursday; 135,477 (46.1%) were fully vaccinated; and 64% of the over-18 population had received at least one dose.
Ulster County’s main vaccination center, in the former Best Buy store at Hudson Valley Mall in the town of Ulster, now serves as a walk-site from 3 to 8 p.m. every Thursday, offering the two-shot Moderna and Pfizer vaccines as well as the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. (Appointments for other times can be made online at vaccinateulster.com.)
Other walk-in vaccination clinics in Ulster County are scheduled as follows.
• Tuesday, June 1, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., former Best Buy store at Hudson Valley Mall (Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson).
• Tuesday, June 1, 1-6 p.m. Esopus Town Hall, 284 Broadway (Route 9W), Port Ewen (Moderna, J&J).
• Wednesday, June 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., former Best Buy store, Hudson Valley Mall (Moderna, Pfizer).
• Wednesday, June 2, 1-6 p.m. Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, 300 Wall St., Kingston (Moderna, J&J).
Walk-in vaccinations also will be available in the Stewart’s Shops at:
• 99 Main St., Ellenville, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Thursday, June 3.
• 212 Main St., Rosendale, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 4.
In the schools
Newly reported cases of COVID-19 in area school districts are as follows, according to New York state.
Kingston: One on-site student at M. Clifford Miller Middle School.
Highland: One on-site elementary school student.
For local coverage related to the coronavirus, go to bit.ly/DFCOVID19.
Editor’s note: This story was updated May 29, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. to correct the date of the June 1 walk-in clinic at the former Best Buy store.