STEUBEN COUNTY (WETM) – Steuben County has declared a State of Emergency in response to COVID-19 effective 12am Wednesday, March 18th.

Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler and Public Health Director Darlene Smith have met with school superintendents to develop a unified plan for an extended dismissal of students. Governor Cuomo, through his executive order of March 13th, placed authority for school dismissal at the local level, and these actions are taken as a precaution to be standardized across the county.

Steuben County officials have directed schools in Steuben County to dismiss students beginning March 18th through April 12th.

Schools in Steuben County will be utilizing Monday the 16th and Tuesday the 17th to prepare staff and students for this extended dismissal.

In the interim, Steuben County officials are continuing to monitor and respond to all COVID-19 concerns and remain in close communication with school districts.

Continuing our collective efforts of ‘social-distancing’, we have directed an extended dismissal of schools in Steuben County. School dismissal is an effective public health measure to prevent and slow the transmission of COVID-19.

Darlene Smith, Public Health Director

County officials stress that these measures are precautionary in nature and there remain zero positive cases in the county.

We urge the citizens to rely upon facts provided by health officials and not to default to undue fear. This declaration follows suit of many counties in New York and states across the nation, which is meant to support social-distancing efforts. While our daily routines may change in the short-term, we will respond in a calm, unified manner as a community.

Jack Wheeler, Steuben County Manager