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West Nile Virus Detected In Rockland County Mosquitoes

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Rockland County Department of Health announces the first pool, or group, of mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) this year.  It was confirmed by the New York State Department of Health.  The infected mosquitoes (Culex pipiens-restuans) were collected from a trap in the Town of Orangetown during the week of June 10th and submitted for testing on June 17th as part of the County’s ongoing mosquito surveillance efforts. So far this year, 33 pools have been submitted for testing. No human cases have been reported this season, and the last reported human case in Rockland was in 2023.

“This time of year is when we see a rise in West Nile Virus activity, and this positive mosquito pool confirms that. The Health Department mosquito control team visits all known mosquito breeding sites and applies larvicides throughout the summer to control the mosquito population, reducing the risk of mosquito-borne diseases,” said Amy Isenberg, Environmental Health Specialist, Mosquito Program Coordinator.

Most mosquitoes do not test positive for disease-causing viruses. However, a bite from a West Nile Virus-infected mosquito can cause severe illness and, in some cases, death.  Although a person’s chances of getting sick are small, those aged 50 and older are at the highest risk for serious illness. Not everyone infected with West Nile Virus will become ill. However, West Nile can cause serious complications, including neurological diseases, and can also cause a milder flu-like illness, including fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and occasionally a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. If you think you have symptoms of West Nile Virus, see your doctor right away.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. The eggs hatch into larvae that develop in the water for 7 to 10 days before emerging as adult mosquitoes that fly and bite. Many types of mosquitoes, including those that can spread disease, lay their eggs in items around the home, such as in birdbaths, unused flowerpots, discarded tires, and even bottle caps, as well as in small ponds or other bodies of stagnant water.

The best and most effective mosquito control begins in private yards.  Eliminating standing water is the first step in reducing mosquito breeding:

• Check your property for ANY items that can hold water. Anything you choose to keep outside, such as kids’ toys, buckets, wading pools, canoes, and wheelbarrows, should be flipped over when not used to prevent them from collecting any water.

• Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers and remove all discarded tires.

• If you have a swimming pool or spa that is not in use, drain the water off the cover or treat the standing water with Mosquito Dunks® and post accordingly. The dunks are available free of charge at the Health Department, Building D, 50 Sanatorium Road in Pomona, Monday – Friday by appointment only, while supplies last.  Call 845-364-3173 or e-mail [email protected] to arrange a pickup.

• Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs. For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.

• If you have a septic tank, repair cracks or gaps. Cover open vents or plumbing pipes. Use wire mesh with holes smaller than those of an adult mosquito.

• Make sure that roof gutters drain properly, clear vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds, and remove leaf debris from yards and gardens.

To reduce your risk of being bitten, take the following steps:

• Cover up as completely as possible. When outdoors for long periods or when mosquitoes are more active, wear shoes and socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.

• Use mosquito repellent, which should always be applied according to label directions. Do not use repellent on babies younger than 2 months old. Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children younger than 3 years old.

• Cover baby carriers with mosquito netting when outside.

• Stay indoors when mosquitoes are more active.

• Close doors and ensure that all windows and doors have screens and that the screens do not have rips, tears, or holes.

Call the Rockland County Health Department at 845-364-3173 to learn more or visit the Mosquito Control webpage. For more information, visit the New York State Health Department West Nile Virus webpage.

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Government

Rockland County Launches TOR Ferry Connection Bus To Serve Weekend Ferry

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New City, NY – County Executive Ed Day and the Rockland County Department of Public Transportation have announced that Transport of Rockland (TOR) will launch the TOR Weekend Ferry Connection bus service starting on Saturday, July 6th. The bus service will provide connecting transit service for Metro-North Hudson Line customers who travel to Haverstraw via the Haverstraw-Ossining Weekend Ferry, enabling them to travel beyond the Ferry Landing via public transit. The TOR Ferry Connection will also provide service for Rockland residents who want to use the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry to travel to Westchester or to NYC via Metro-North Hudson Line trains from Ossining.

The TOR Weekend Ferry Connection bus will serve Metro-North’s Haverstraw-Ossining Weekend Ferry service pilot program, which began on May 25th and is expected to operate through November 10th. The TOR Ferry Connection will meet each of the ferries arriving and departing the Haverstraw Ferry Landing on Saturdays and Sundays. Weekend ferry customers can board the TOR Ferry Connection upon arrival at the Haverstraw Ferry Landing. The Ferry Connection enables easy access to downtown Haverstraw, which is approximately one mile from the Landing, and then travels through the Village of Haverstraw to the Village of West Haverstraw to serve the Garner Arts Center, south on Route 9W to serve Rockland Lake State Park in Valley Cottage, then to downtown Nyack before heading west on Route 59 to serve the Palisades Center mall in West Nyack.  At Palisades Center, the bus will serve the stores bus stop at Macy’s as well as the Commuter Parking Lot.

“Rockland County is happy to be able to host visitors from around our region, who are able to use the new Haverstraw-Ossining Weekend Ferry Service to travel to Rockland,” said County Executive Ed Day. “With the TOR Weekend Ferry Connection bus service, those visitors now have a way to travel from the Ferry Landing to the various destinations and attractions Rockland has to offer.”

“This is the perfect time to launch this new service – with summer in full swing and so many opportunities to enjoy our Hudson River waterfront, arts centers, restaurants, shops and more,” Rockland County Legislature Chairman Jay Hood Jr. said. “This effort means visitors can leave their cars at home but still have a reliable way to visit the many cultural, recreational and historic landmarks that help make Rockland County the special place we all love. Likewise, Rockland residents will have a special way to travel across the Hudson to visit the east side and even travel further into New York City if they choose. Thanks to all who have helped make this new service possible.”

“We are pleased that our Department was able to work quickly to put the TOR Weekend Ferry Connection into place,” said Rockland County Public Transportation Department Acting Commissioner Doug Schuetz. “Thanks to the hard work and efforts of our staff and bus operator, and with operating assistance funds from Metro-North, TOR can now provide this valuable service.”

“This new bus route combined with the weekend ferry service offers visitors and residents a convenient option to explore Rockland’s unique tourism assets,” said Lucy Redzeposki, Director of Economic Development and Tourism. “Expect the unexpected in beautiful Rockland County!”

“The Village of Haverstraw is thrilled that the County of Rockland has recognized this opportunity to promote tourism along the Hudson River provided by the start of the weekend ferry service,” said Village of Haverstraw Mayor Michael Kohut. “Now those from the east side of the Hudson can have the chance to explore Rockland’s river communities at their leisure and Rocklanders can enjoy the opportunity to explore Westchester and beyond via Metro-North.”

Customers using this TOR connecting service will be able to transfer to other transit options at TOR transit hubs in the Village of Haverstraw, downtown Nyack and at Palisades Center to access additional destinations. The TOR Ferry Connection schedule also includes a final evening trip to Palisades Center for Metro-North customers who may stay beyond the 8:20 pm departure time of the last ferry back to Ossining. This provides an option for Metro-North customers to return to the Hudson Line at Tarrytown via the Hudson Link bus from Palisades Center or downtown Nyack.

The TOR Weekend Ferry Connection schedule features 26 trips per day for both Saturdays and Sundays, including 13 Southbound trips that meet all ferry arrivals and 13 Northbound trips that meet all ferry departures at the Haverstraw Ferry Landing. The service operates between 8 am and 10 pm. The service is provided by the Rockland County Department of Public Transportation and Metro-North Railroad, in partnership with the Rockland County Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the Village of Haverstraw.  The TOR Weekend Ferry Connection service is fare free.

Go to www.rocklandbus.com for more information and to sign up for free Transit Alerts. For trip planning assistance, call the Transit Information Center at (845) 364-3333, Monday-Friday from 9 am and 5 pm.

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Five Towns Of Rockland Blood Drive Challenge In Partnership With The American Red Cross

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Nanuet, NY – Senator Bill Weber today announced the Five Towns of Rockland Blood Drive Challenge in partnership with the American Red Cross. This friendly competition between the five towns of Rockland will take place between July 30th and August 3rd. Each of the Five Town Supervisors has agreed to participate and assist in promoting their town’s blood drive.
“I’m excited to announce the Five Towns of Rockland Blood Drive Challenge in partnership with the American Red Cross. Only three percent of the population regularly donates blood. We need to increase that number, and this five towns challenge was developed to do exactly that,” said Senator Bill Weber.
Donors can preregister for the event by going to:
The schedule for the blood drive challenge is:
July 30th – Finkelstein Memorial Library
24 Chestnut Street
Spring Valley, NY 10977
10:30 AM – 04:30 PM
July 31st – Orangetown Town Hall
26 W Orangeburg Rd
Orangeburg, NY 10962
09:00 AM – 03:00 PM
August 1st – Stony Point Senior Center
19 Club House Ln
Stony Point, NY 10980
10:00 AM – 03:00 PM
August 2nd – Clarkstown Town Hall
10 Maple Ave
New City, NY 10956
12:00 PM – 05:00 PM
August 3rd – Town of Haverstraw
1 Rosman Rd
Garnerville, NY 10923
10:00 AM – 03:00 PM
Two prizes will be awarded, one for the most blood collected and another for the most newly registered Red Cross blood donors. The winning town for each category will receive a trophy and bragging rights until next year’s competition.
“Blood and platelet donors are critically needed right now to support lifesaving transfusions this summer,” said Stephanie Dunn Ashely, CEO of the American Red Cross Metro New York North Chapter. “Full summer calendars and holiday plans may prevent regular donors from being able to give, but every donation counts in the mission to keep blood products stocked for patients who need them. This is why we are so excited and proud to partner with Senator Weber and the five towns across Rockland County to sponsor a friendly competition where neighbors can roll up their sleeves to help save a life. In this competition, everyone in the community wins!”
There will be five blood drives over five consecutive days, one in each of the five towns of Rockland. Senator Bill Weber contacted the NYS Thruway Authority, and they agreed to light up the Tappan Zee Bridge in red on the night of the first blood drive (July 30th) to help spread awareness of this life-saving initiative.

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