Plattsburgh, NY — Governor Kathy Hochul paid a visit to the North Country to express her gratitude to health and county leaders and to talk about strategies to combat COVID-19 for the upcoming new year.

“I really needed to leave the capital, where I have been very focused on our Covid response and reporting to the public, but sometimes you wake up and say, ‘I need to see the people who are on the front lines,'” said Governor Hochul.

During the trip, she visited nurses and business owners and toured the new vaccine site at Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh. Assemblyman Billy Jones was among those welcoming the governor.

“Certainly what we’re going through here in the North Country, we need more testing and more people getting vaccinated, and I think for her to bring that message here is important,” said Assemblyman Jones.

Michael Cashman, Plattsburgh Town Supervisor issued a welcoming statement from quarantine. “While I am not able to welcome Governor Kathy Hochul to the Town of Plattsburgh due to my own ongoing quarantine, I want to personally thank her for responding to our request and mobilizing NYS resources to help combat COVID19 with a vaccination site at Clinton Community College. This resource is critical to our ongoing efforts. I continue to encourage community members to get vaccinated and now boosted. Speaking as someone who contracted COVID I am glad to have been vaccinated – preventing serious illness or worse.”

Governor Hochul says Clinton County will receive 35,000 N-95 masks and she also plans to distribute 22,000 tests to North Country schools and implement the test-to-stay program by Monday. “That’s why we wanted to have 3,000 of those test kits for Clinton County, and more to come,” she said. She also touted the state’s effort in ordering 37 million test kits, which will soon be available. “We are basically preparing for a January surge.”

Families in the North Country have been trying to get their boosters but some say getting an appointment has not been a simple task. Nicole Martinez, a resident of Peru said, “We tried to make a doctor’s appointment with the pediatrician’s office, but they’re not offering them and then we went to the YMCA clinic which happened not too long ago, but the lines were super long.” Martinez says those conditions were not conducive for her son, who has a disability but she and others were able to access the shot today.

Rebekah Riley, a Plattsburgh resident said, “It’s definitely important if you do have underlying health issues, because if you don’t do it, it will definitely take a toll on you. I have lost family due to COVID and it’s definitely a sad feeling and I hope no one has to go through that.”