For most of us, this was an unusually slow Memorial Day weekend. But for those working behind the scenes to enable Putnam County to reopen on May 26, it was non-stop work.

I want to thank Putnam County Personnel Director Paul Eldridge and his staff, including Angela Aquilato, for their enormous efforts over the holiday weekend getting an army of contact tracers trained and in place so that Putnam County could reopen for business.

I also want to thank the folks who signed up to be contact tracers for taking six hours out of their holiday weekend to complete the online training course.

Because of all of your hard work, Putnam County can restart its economy while putting safety first.

Paul and his staff worked day and night, adapting quickly to shifting guidance from the state — first we were told we needed 30 contact tracers in order to reopen, then the number suddenly jumped to 84. No matter, they didn’t hesitate.

They reached out to employees from nearly every county department with the urgent message that the training course had to be completed over the weekend. They got the same message out to the summer PILOT program interns who, pre-COVID-19, had been planning to work in various county departments. They made calls to community volunteers, as well as skilled health care volunteers from the Medical Reserve Corps., I would also like to thank the Town of Carmel for their volunteers.

By Tuesday morning, 97 contact tracers were trained and ready to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

It is this kind of can-do spirit that gives me faith in the future of Putnam County. I know that, together, we will help our communities rebound.

MaryEllen Odell, Carmel

Odell is the Putnam County executive.

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Type: Opinion

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