Delaware County has declared a State of Emergency on Saturday. according to a media release from the county. Otsego County and Chenango followed suit in announcements Sunday.

In response to COVID-19, Tina Mole, chairman of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors, in accordance with recommendations from the county health director, has declared has declared a State of Emergency. The declaration is effective Saturday, March 14, through Monday, April 13, 2020.

Through the order, all classroom and extracurricular functions with regard to all public schools situated in the county will be suspended Schools may remain open for administrative and staff functions. It take effect at midnight Wednesday, March 18, and will remain in effect until midnight Tuesday, April 14 unless it is revoked before then. It may also be extended the release said.

Delaware County Office for the Aging Senior Meal sites and senior transit will cease operations effective immediately. This order will remain in effect until midnight Tuesday, April 14, unless otherwise announced.

In a statement on its Facebook page Sunday, Delaware County Office for the Aging made the following statement:

"In light of our current COVID-19 situation and Delaware County's State of Emergency declaration, it is important for people to know that the Delaware County Office for the Aging will not be closing. The Senior Dining Center's congregate meal program will be suspended and the Senior Bus system will be suspended. The agency has developed a back up plan to provide meals and shopping assistance during this time of suspension. Those who are current congregate meal participants will be able to receive home delivered meals for their hot nutritious noontime meal. Regular bus riders who depend on the bus system for purchasing their groceries will be offered shopping assistance so that they won't be in danger of not having enough food in their home. Delaware County Office for the Aging and New York Connects staff will assist clients with ordering food and will pick up and deliver the food to the seniors in their homes. Caring for Delaware County's senior citizens is our main priority. We feel that by offering alternatives to these and other services, we are looking out for the health of our seniors, which is the highest priority, as well as providing them needed services during this time."

More details were issued in a media release from Delaware Opportunities on Sunday afternoon.

While congregate meals service will be suspended, home-delivers meals will continue to those who currently get them. Any seniors who  attend congregate settings or are now finding themselves at home without meals are invited to call Delaware Opportunities' Senior Meals Program at 607-746-1711. The only requirement is the recipient be 60 years of age or older and live in Delaware County.

In addition, in an effort to provide additional support for seniors during this time, Delaware Opportunities will also provide meal bags as well as offering prescription pick-up, the release said. Those who are 60 or older and a resident of Delaware County and are interested in this additional support or require more information, please contact Delaware Opportunities at 607-746¬1600 or call the Food Bank directly at 607-746-1685.

In regard to school closings and Head Start, all Head Start Centers are closed effective March 16 through April 14 or until such time that the State of Emergency has been lifted. Staff will still report as they will be checking in with families, providing materials to work on from home, and preparing breakfast and lunch, which will be delivered to all Head Start families, the release said.

As of right now, all food pantries remain open. Those with questions should contact the local food pantry or Kelly Short at 607-746-1685 to confirm days and hours, as they may change during this time. 

On Sunday, Otsego County also issued a State of Emergency, and announced the formation of a task force to deal with COVID-19 issues. No new measures were announced.

Sunday afternoon, Chenango County Board of Supervisors issued a State of Emergency and ordered schools to close a the direction of county health director by Wednesday, March 18, through April 14, similar to Delaware County. Schools may remain open for administrative and staff functions.

Individual districts will advise on their exact plans, but most are expected to have a staff development day on Monday, March 16, according to the announcement. On Tuesday it will be up to district whether students will report to prepare for the extended closure.

Day cares in Chenango County are not closed, the release said, as they are under the regulatory control of New York State.

The State of Emergency was issued upon the recommendation of the County Health Director and County Emergency Management Director. It also authorizes emergency purchasing necessary for the response and expedites the county’s sharing of resources for better coordination to this rapidly evolving situation, the release said.