KINGSTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Ulster County has extended its state of emergency for an additional 30 days due to rising COVID-19 cases. The state of emergency was originally enacted on November 28.

County Executive Pat Ryan said the number of COVID cases in the county has more than doubled in the past month and active cases have reached its highest point since February 11. He said this is largely due to the omicron variant.

“This emergency order has proven to be critical in allowing us to rapidly respond to the changing public health situation,” said Ryan. “Our ability as a County to partner with our schools, municipalities, and nonprofit partners, has allowed us to distribute over 50,000 free rapid at-home kits. We must do everything we can, individually and collectively, to prevent another difficult and deadly winter. I encourage all residents to get vaccinated, get your booster, and continue to socially distance and wear masks when indoors around others.”

The county is holding a drive-thru distribution for at-home COVID tests on Thursday in New Paltz. The county said 3,000 at-home kits will be available to residents, with one kit available per car. The event starts at 6 p.m. and runs while supplies last. 

The county is still partnering with all 24 municipalities to provide the test kits at no cost to cities, towns and villages throughout Ulster County. Residents can contact their municipality for additional details on how to receive the kits. Each at-home rapid kit contains two tests per box. 

Ulster County will continue to hold regular vaccination PODs for residents who need to receive their first dose, second dose or booster dose. Appointments are recommended, although walk-ins will be accommodated as capacity allows. You can sign up for appointments on the Ulster County COVID website.

The Ulster County Department of Health is still accepting volunteers to be vaccinators and screeners. Vaccinators need both an active license and current CPR certificate, or can be basic and advanced EMTs with current CPR certificate. Screeners create the record of vaccination for each patient, so should be computer literate, have attention to detail, and good customer service and communication skills. You can sign up to volunteer on the Ulster County COVID website.