Ulster County confirms first COVID-19 death

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan yesterday confirmed the first death of an Ulster County resident related to COVID-19. The individual was a 76-year-old man from the town of Plattekill who passed away at Vassar Brothers hospital in Poughkeepsie due to complications from COVID-19 on Sunday, March 29. For reasons of privacy, specific information was not provided.

“It is with great sadness that I must report that Ulster County has lost our first resident to COVID-19. On behalf of Ulster County, I send my deepest sympathies to the friends and family of the individual that we lost,” Ryan said. “This serves as a sobering reminder of the severity of the situation and the need for all of us to take all precautions necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19. I would like to thank all of our medical and emergency service professionals who have been on the frontline since day one and I would like to assure everyone that my office will continue to work around the clock to protect the health and safety of all of the residents of Ulster County.”

As of yesterday, Ulster County had 186 diagnosed cases. With 35 cases, the town of Plattekill is nearly twice as much as any other municipality in the county. Asked about the prevalence of cases in Plattekill at a Facebook town hall on Friday, Ulster County Director of Emergency Services Steve Peterson said there were a number of cases in Plattekill and Wallkill that may have originated from travel to and from Orange County, which has a significantly higher rate of infection than Ulster. According to the state’s numbers, as of yesterday, cases per capita in Ulster are 1 per 1229 and 1 per 307 in Orange.

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Over the weekend, Ryan announced that Ulster would be more than tripling hospital bed capacity in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Ulster County cases, by municipality (source)