OSWEGO COUNTY – All across the country, retirees have come to serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. This month, Oswego County recognizes Judy Watson for her assistance in their efforts.

“Retired from the County Health Department, Judy knows our workforce well and was eager to return right away,” said Danielle Carlone, Public Health Officer for the County Health Department. Oswego. “She is trained in nursing and health care administration and has held various nursing positions in the health service during her career. Judy was a Supervisory Public Health Nurse for the Preventive Services and Palliative Care Divisions and became Director of Patient Services prior to her retirement.

Now, Watson is an active member of the Oswego Planning Council, vice chairman of the Hospice Friends Council, and a volunteer in the county’s COVID-19 effort by helping with the COVID-19 phone bank.

After dedicating 35 years to the county health department, Watson said returning as a volunteer to help out his former colleagues was an easy decision. “I knew it was something I could do to lend a hand,” she said. “The time and effort that I have seen from all the staff in our health department over the past 16 months or so is something I will not forget.”

She went on to say that their tireless dedication – and that of other volunteers in this effort – has had a real impact on the lives of residents, including her own. “This pandemic and my take on everyday life have shown me how lucky I am and not to take life for granted.”

When asked to define “public health,” Watson highlighted everyone involved in the COVID-19 effort. She said, “We are the gatekeepers of the health of our community.

The Oswego County Department of Health is grateful for the countless volunteers and their extraordinary dedication to assisting in the COVID-19 effort. Their support has helped the ministry’s critical operations run as smoothly as they have.

“We are continuing the fight against COVID-19 with a group of extraordinary individuals ready to meet any challenge,” said Jiancheng Huang, director of public health for Oswego County. “We have been recruiting volunteers since March 2020 and their help is still needed in our ongoing battle against this virus. “

For more information, visit the Oswego County Department of Health’s COVID-19 page at health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19 or call their COVID-19 hotline at 315-349- 3330. The opening hours of the hotline will be limited during the Christmas and New Years holidays. It will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on weekdays only. It will be closed on Friday and Saturday 24 and 25 December and Friday and Saturday 31 December and 1 January.

For more information on emotional supports, visit the Mental Hygiene Division of the Oswego County Social Services Department at www.oswegocounty.com/mentalhygiene.

As of December 13, New York State is requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public places, unless businesses or locations implement a full vaccination requirement. The Oswego County government requires that masks be worn inside all county government facilities.

Under New York State Public Health Act, the Oswego County Department of Health is the local public health authority regarding the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in County of Oswego. The Oswego County Department of Health is working closely with the New York State Department of Health regarding COVID-19 surveillance, response and reporting.

OSWEGO COUNTY RECOGNIZES JUDY WATSON – The Oswego County Health Department continues to recognize volunteers who have helped their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This month’s winner is Judy Watson, pictured here answering a call on the county’s COVID-19 hotline. Photo courtesy of Sonia Robinson, Oswego County Department of Health.