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911 center will send county-wide texts today, urging social distancing

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 April 2020 at 10:17 am

Orleans County residents are expected to receive two text messages today, around noon and at 6 p.m., from the 911 emergency alert system, urging residents to protect themselves and others in the community from the coronavirus.

This is the first time the local 911 emergency communication system is sending out a county-wide alert, said Dale Banker, the emergency management director for Orleans County.

“Your impact on the community is great, and your efforts in promoting and adhering to the safety guidelines is appreciated,” according to the message.

The Public Health departments in Genesee and Orleans counties urged the 911 centers in each county to send the messages to residents. Genesee County sent the texts on Tuesday.

The message to Orleans County residents will remind them to take precautions against the virus by staying home, washing your hands frequently and following social distancing by staying at least six feet away from non-household members.

“We thank you and your community for your cooperation during these difficult times,” according to the message.

Orleans and Genesee counties have both seen a jump in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases. Orleans is up from 6 on Thursday to 17 on Tuesday. Genesee County increased from 17 on Thursday to 44 on Tuesday.

The texts today will reinforce the importance of health and safety guidance issued by the Center for Disease Control and the NYS Department of Health.

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