Supervisors: Wayne County State of Emergency allows county to call on state for help, issue local orders

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WAYNE COUNTY, N.Y. (WHEC) — Wayne County leaders have not issued any orders as part of their COVID-related State of Emergency, but they can now call on Gov.Hochul for help.

A statement from the county’s Board of Supervisors Wednesday said its declaration allows the board’s chairman, Ken Miller, to request assistance from Albany should the county’s own resources become exhausted. It will also allow the chairman to issue local emergency orders.

The SOE declaration was issued earlier this week in response to growing COVID hospitalizations and deaths. The county’s Department of Health reports nearly 30% of the county’s total deaths from COVID-19 have happened since Nov. 1.

Wayne-County SOE Update by News10NBC on Scribd

Miller said the state of emergency is a crucial first step to getting the spread under control.

“We don’t have any specific orders that we’ve been focusing on,” Miller said. “If there’s anything that comes from the state or the federal government then we would look at orders to support them.”

Miller said they are focused on the same recommendations they’ve been asking from the start with an emphasis on vaccinations.

“I think some people are getting burned out. It’s just COVID, COVID, COVID and my health director said we need to be positive we need to kind of rejuvenate the enthusiasm to beat this thing,” Miller said.

Wayne County Director of Public Health Diane Delvin said she’s open to putting mask mandates back in place.

“Again there’s got to be some discussions with the chairman,” Delvin said. “I would love to have that in place but it would probably be a request first and let’s look at what we did last year and encourage everybody to go back to those protective measures that we did."

Delvin also said their hospitals are at maximum capacity and they received four nursing assistants and two administrations members from the state to help with transfers.

“Right now they are boarding a lot of individuals that need to go back to the institutions that they came from such as nursing homes and any congregate care setting and so right now the staffing issue in those different settings is what’s preventing them from moving out of the hospitals so that they can provide beds for anybody else,” Delvin said.

The county board of supervisors and the health department is asking all Wayne County residents to work with them over the next six weeks in helping us to reduce the spread.

“We’re at the tip of our iceberg, we just had the holiday for thanksgiving and now we’re going into Christmas,” Delvin said. “The numbers are just going to get worse. We need everyone’s help and so this is what we’re asking everyone to do. Wear your mask, get vaccinated and try to not gather in large groups."

Miller said personally he hopes they don’t have to get to the point where they would even have to think about mandating anything but he says they will just have to watch the numbers and see if people follow their recommendations to curb the spread.

The county also has the seventh-highest positivity rate in the state, based on the seven-day average.

Newark-Wayne Community Hospital is not on the DOH’s “impacted facility” list but Rochester Regional Health says it is proactively suspending inpatient elective surgeries there this week.

You may recall the governor’s statewide disaster emergency took effect late last month, it gives her the power to temporarily suspend or modify any statute, local law.