Leg leader, in state of county, mourns lives lost due to Covid
‘Over 100 of our brothers and sisters are gone – lost to Covid-19. We want to honor those men and women as much as we can – the moms, the dads, the sisters, and brothers. No life lost is ever a statistic.’
ALBION – Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson said the county has nearly recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic, which strained many local businesses the past two years.
“We still aren’t fully back but we’re getting there,” she said.
Johnson gave a “State of the County” at the beginning of the March 23 County Legislature meeting.
The county mourns the loss of 113 residents to Covid-related illness during the pandemic.
“Over 100 of our brothers and sisters are gone – lost to Covid-19,” Johnson said. “We want to honor those men and women as much as we can – the moms, the dads, the sisters, and brothers. No life lost is ever a statistic. They are people – they loved and were loved.”
Johnson said the greatest tribute to honor those lost to Covid “is to show love to our neighbors.”
She praised the 400-plus county employees for continuing to serve residents during the pandemic, and also push forward projects.
“As we have been – since day one of this crisis – county government has an all-hands-on-deck approach to help Orleans through this unprecedented pandemic.”
She commended the Health Department and a team of staff and volunteers for efforts at vaccination clinics.
She praised residents for keeping their businesses going and for starting new enterprises.
“The spirit of innovation and creativity is here – it was always here – now it’s our job to help this spirit to continue.”
The county went from an austerity budget with job cuts at the beginning to the pandemic to a budget with a robust capital plan for new bridges, and upgrades in the county infrastructure, as well as a contract to make high-speed internet available to every address in the county by the end of this year.
“We are building in a way that has never been seen in recent memory,” Johnson said.
She commended the team of county legislators in trying to serve residents. The state of county is strong and getting stronger “with unity of spirit and purpose,” she said.
“Change is constant, and change is inevitable,” Johnson said. “We will evaluate the old to keep the good and rather than fighting change, we must embrace it and shape it and own it – because that is what Orleans County residents do, that is what New Yorkers do and that is what Americans do.”