Community Help

COVID-19 “Contact Tracers”

One of seven metrics used in determining regional opening is the number of trained and available Contact Tracers. The Hudson Valley has been informed we need 300 due to the population of the Mid-Hudson Valley Region which Orange County falls in. The role of a Contract Tracer will involve calling people throughout Orange County who may have had contact with a COVID-19 positive individual and collecting/entering data with respect to their whereabouts and individuals they may have contacted. To be a Contact Tracer, NYS requires the completion of an online training and certification program that requires a quick online exam.  Volunteers will need to take a free course fro John Hopkins University. The application shows a fee of $49 but there will be no cost at checkout.   If you are interested, please contact the Deputy Commissioner of Health, Mike Ventre, at mventre@orangecountygov.com.

Blood Donations Needed

Blood drives are prohibited at this time due to Covid-19 precautions. This has resulted in seriously low blood supplies in NY State.  At this time, all blood donations must be made at an on-site donation center, which are not plentiful throughout the county.  Although the locations may not be as convenient, please consider signing up and giving blood today. Blood donation saves lives.

Is it safe to donate? Yes. 

If you are concerned about safety precautions, please head to New York Blood Center’s Covid-19 Safety page to have all your questions answered. Otherwise please locate your donation center below to get started.

Recovered from COVID-19?

If you have recovered from COVID-19, the NY Blood Center would like to speak with you. Plasma donations from post-Covid patients have antibodies which are being used to treat those suffering with the virus, and to potentially find a cure.  If you would be willing to donate, please head to the NY Blood Center website for more info.

NY Emotional Support Hotline

The number of people struggling with extreme emotional distress due to COVID-19 is increasing rapidly.  If you are experiencing higher than normal feelings of anxiety, depression, or a general feeling of emotional unwell, please call 1-888-863-9314 today. There are people there to help.  Live online video sessions also available.

Corona Virus Testing

If you are having cold or flu like symptoms including cough, fever, difficulty breathing, loss of taste/smell, or if you have come in contact with someone who has just tested positive for COVID-19, please go to coronavirus.health.ny.gov to find a testing site near you.

Covid-19 Questions

If you feel uneasy and want more info on virus related concerns, community concerns, or symptoms/testing sites, call the NYS Coronavirus Hotline at 888-364-3065 (24/7). You can also head to the Orange County government website below.

Food for School-Aged Children

Parents in need of food assistance for school-aged children can see the location list provided below. If you cannot get to a food supply location, call the Orange County Crisis hotline 24-hours a day/7-days a week at 800-832-1200.

Orange County Food Pantries

There are a number of food pantries operating in Orange County.  Click below for a current list. It is recommended to call the location before heading out.

Little Things to Make a Big Impact

In times we feel powerless, we must remember that we have been empowered to do for others from the heart.  Take a look at a few safe opportunities below to make a change in someone’s day.

  • Have your children draw pictures or thank you notes to give to those still working in the community…
    • gas station attendants
    • coffee shop workers
    • doctor’s office workers
    • veterinarians
    • auto repair shops
  • Stash a few dollars in different areas of the local dollar store with a note.
  • Pick up an extra box of granola bars or snacks and drop it off at a police station or firehouse.
  • Take a family hike. Leave a jar of fresh-picked flowers on a person’s porch.
  • Pay for or give something toward the person’s meal behind you in the drive thru lane.
  • Have a pizza or food delivered to struggling family in your neighborhood.
  • Send diaper, formula, or other baby-related coupons to those with new babies.