Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente has declared a State of Emergency and announced the closure of schools for a month due to the COVID-19 threat.

The decision to close the schools was made in cooperation with all area superintendents. That includes all public schools at all levels in the county and Oneida-Madison BOCES. In a release Picente said,

While there is still currently no confirmed case of COVID-19 in Oneida County, we’re taking every measure available to ensure the health and safety of our residents. Since the onset of this threat, we have partnered with federal, state and local officials to prepare, evaluate and respond to this continually evolving public health emergency. We believe this strong action is necessary and will enhance our ability effectively fight this unprecedented situation.

Effective immediately schools will be shut down and classes are tentatively scheduled to resume on Tuesday, April 14th, 2020.

By declaring a State of Emergency in the county, Picente will have a number of options when it comes to making decisions for the health and safety to the public.

He will now have the authority to take the following actions.

  • Establishing a curfew and the prohibiting and control pedestrian and vehicular traffic, except essential emergency vehicles and personnel.
  • Designating specific zones within which the occupancy and use of buildings and the ingress and egress of vehicles and persons may be prohibited or regulated.
  • Regulating and closing of places of amusement and assembly.
  • Suspending and limiting of the sale, dispensing, use or transportation of alcoholic beverages, explosives, and flammable materials and liquids.
  • Prohibiting and controlling of the presence of persons on public streets and places.
  • Establishing or designating of emergency shelters, emergency medical shelters, and in consultation with the state commissioner of health, community based care centers.

The State of Emergency will be in effect until further notice.