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Parks Update (as of 3/27/2020)
With the return of warmer weather, the City understands the desire for residents and visitors to gather in our parks.  With the concerns of the potential for the transfer of the Coronavirus, however, the City has implemented certain criteria for the use of our outdoor facilities.  While our City parks and green spaces will remain open, we request that those using them comply with social distancing standards and refrain from contact sports and the use of pavilions and playgrounds. While some sports, such as tennis or pickleball, can be played while maintaining adequate social distance, players are reminded to take care to avoid touching their faces, and wash their hands before and after play.

Acceptable activities include:
*Basketball alone is OK; five-on-five, or even one-on-one, is NOT OK

Lower Wilber Park sewer main replacement project remains underway
*Vehicles may park by the entrance, but may go no further
*Working hours are 7a-3:30p, please use caution and avoid construction areas, obey all construction signage, barriers and workers
*Park bathrooms will remain closed until further notice

COVID Communication Update (as of 3/20/2020)
The City of Oneonta has created a nixle group specific to the Coronavirus.  By voluntarily opting in to this group, you will receive periodic messages with important information relating to the City of Oneonta’s response to the pandemic. You may opt to receive these messages via phone, email or text.  They will also continue to remain available on our dedicated website ( and our Facebook page (

To opt in via text message only, text the keyword CORONA20 to 888777. To receive all alerts or a combination thereof, you can visit the City’s website at and click “enroll for alerts”.  You can also contact the City Clerk’s Office at and list the methods of preferred contact you’ve chosen.  When providing phone numbers, please note if they are cell phones or landline phones.

What to Expect When Contacting Emergency Services (issued March 18, 2020)

Oneonta Police Department
When contacting the Oneonta Police Department to make a complaint, please be prepared to answer non-invasive questions regarding the health of yourself and others in your home or business. Dispatchers or officers will ask if anyone is currently under quarantine or ill. If so, you will be asked to speak with the officer by an alternative method (by stepping outside, speaking through a window, speaking through a closed door, make a telephone call, etc). Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.

Oneonta Fire Department
If you are concerned that you may have symptoms of the new coronavirus, please contact Bassett’s COVID-19 phone line – 607-547-5555, which can be used to screen patients for the virus or other upper respiratory illnesses. 

If you are severely ill or experiencing any other medical emergency, call 911. During the coronavirus health crisis, you can expect the following when calling for an ambulance:

1. The 911 dispatcher will ask you a series of questions to gather initial information about the nature of your emergency.

2. When the ambulance arrives;

a. You will be asked to put on a paper mask
b. You may be asked to walk to the ambulance.
c. If transported, you may be tested at the Emergency Department and then sent home.

City of Oneonta Operational Update (as of March 17, 2020)
City of Oneonta - COVID-19 Operational Contingency Plan

Mayor Gary Herzig announced on Monday, March 16th that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an emergency situation that requires unprecedented actions to protect the health of the general public, the City of Oneonta will be closed to the public and non-essential City services will be shut down through at least Tuesday, March 31st, 2020.

City Operations
During the closure, City operations have been divided into two categories: 

  • Emergency functions which will operate as normal but with expanded safety and health precautions and protections for both employees and the public alike. These functions include Police, Fire, and EMS.
  • Non-emergency functions, which will operate on a limited basis, modified schedule, and/or remotely to continue to provide important public services. As with emergency operations, expanded safety and health precautions will be in place, and staff will be practicing appropriate social distancing measures. Non-emergency functions include water treatment, public service, wastewater treatment, public transit, code enforcement, engineering, city clerk, buildings and grounds, central garage, utilities, finance, purchasing, personnel, community development, recreation, and airport.

Emergency Functions

  • The Oneonta Police Department can be contacted at 911 for emergencies. For non-emergency OPD business, please call (607) 432-1113.
  • The Oneonta Fire Department can be contacted at 911 for emergencies. For non-emergency OFD business, please call (607) 433-3480.

 Non-Emergency Functions

  • Effective Wednesday, March 18th, 2020, Oneonta Public Transit will be suspending all night buses.
  • Effective Monday, March 23rd, 2020, OPT will be operating on an abbreviated schedule which will include the following:The Code Enforcement Office has suspended regularly scheduled building inspections. Emergency or unsafe building inspections will be performed as needed. For routine matters, residents may continue to contact the Code Enforcement Office by emailing; staff will respond as needed. For emergency building code situations, please call 911.
    • There will be only one Cooperstown bus, running from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    • The West End and Southside routes will be combined – West End will run at the top of the hour and Southside will run on the half hour.
    • There will be no Hillside bus.  The SUNY bus will cover Hillside every half hour (7 a.m. until 6 p.m.)
    • River/East bus schedule remains the same.
    • Paratransit bus will run as scheduled.
    • There will be no Sunday Southside bus.
    • OPT’s lobby will be closed. The transaction window will remain open. The public is encouraged to use the ticket vending machine in the lobby, whenever possible.
  • For urgent Public Service matters, including malfunctioning traffic signals or problems with street signs, traffic accidents involving large animals, etc., please contact the Oneonta Police Department Dispatch at (607) 432-1113. For routine Public Service matters and questions, please email; for all issues relating to water distribution or sewer collection, please email; staff will respond in a limited capacity during the closure.
  • The brush and yard waste collection site on Silas Lane will remain open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • As of Monday, March 23rd, the Water Treatment Plant Laboratory will only be accepting bacteriological samples from community water systems. Samples may be dropped off at the lab at 110 East Street, Monday through Wednesday from 8-11:30 a.m. Please follow written directions posted on the lab door.
  • The City of Oneonta Wastewater Treatment Plant will be closed to private septic haulers until further notice. In addition, residents are reminded that disposable wipes are not flushable – doing so may cause significant damage to the wastewater collection system and treatment plant equipment.
  • For death certificates, the City Clerk’s Office may be reached via email at
  • Limited staffing in non-essential areas will be available to residents. Some services can be transacted through email and mail. More information in regards to specific transactions and the process for each is available on the City’s website, – see the COVID-19 section.

For any other questions or urgent matters, members of the public can also contact the Mayor directly at 

Other Important Information
The City’s COVID-19 response task force continues to closely monitor and prepare for the potential spread of COVID-19 in Oneonta.  Local officials have been in constant communication with Governor Cuomo’s office, Congressman Delgado’s Office, Otsego County, and other key representatives. The City will also assist with enforcement of the Governor’s directives related to mass gatherings and reduced occupancy.

Public meetings at City Hall and other City-sponsored public meetings scheduled through Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 have been postponed until further notice. 

As updates become available, residents are encouraged to follow the City’s social media accounts:

Facebook: City of Oneonta
Twitter: @CityOneonta
City website:

City of Oneonta Buildings Closed to the Public (update issued March 16, 2020)
Together, all of us here in the City of Oneonta are coping with the stress and disruption of this unprecedented virus pandemic.  I want to thank the Oneonta community for the very positive and effective response we have seen to last Friday’s advisory regarding limiting close social interaction.  We are in this together and will come out of it stronger than ever.  City Personnel, in partnership with our Health Officer Dr. Diane Georgeson, have been working in close cooperation with the offices of Governor Cuomo,  A. O. Fox Hospital, Bassett Healthcare, SUNY Oneonta, Hartwick College, Otsego County, the Town of Oneonta, and Congressman Delgado in developing practices designed to keep the public informed, provided with needed services, and healthy.

Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, all City buildings will be closed to the public until further notice.  Persons requiring emergency assistance from the Oneonta Police Department can do so by entering the lobby at the Public Safety Building.  I can ensure you that we will continue to provide all essential services to the residents of the City.  We are also committed to the safety of our employees and look to comply with Governor Cuomo’s request that local governments reduce their workforce by 50%.  To do so we will be curtailing all non-essential services and activities.

At 7:00 pm on Tuesday, March 17, I will conduct a live broadcast on the City of Oneonta’s Facebook page of our Council Meeting at which I will discuss the changes in services in more detail.  As you are aware, we are dealing with a fast changing, complex problem so we will be sure to communicate developments as they happen.  Through strong community cooperation, we can stay ahead of the curve on this and keep each other healthy.  I have great faith in the people of Oneonta to work together for the good of all.  At this time, the best thing we can all do is to try and stay home.

City of Oneonta Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advisory (issued March 13, 2020)
"The Coronavirus presents a real threat to our community, our country, and our world", states Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig.  "The severity of this pandemic can only be minimized by all communities acting locally to mitigate the spread of this virus.  Here in the City of Oneonta, we owe it to ourselves, our neighbors and our fellow New Yorkers to voluntarily implement social distancing measures in all group activities. For this reason, the City of Oneonta now issues an advisory to all Organizations (e.g. places of worship, gathering spaces, social clubs, gyms, business meetings, cultural events, performances etc.) that they should immediately implement measures for social distancing, which may include temporarily suspending services or activities, and/or limiting the maximum allowed attendance or occupancy. This advisory will take effect immediately and will be in place until March 27th at which time it will be re-evaluated.  While we understand that this may cause significant inconvenience and negative economic impact, the result of not acting could be significantly more serious.  The City of Oneonta has always been a caring community and there is no better time than today to demonstrate this".

The City of Oneonta has established a work group, consisting of key personnel, elected officials, and the City’s Health Officer, to coordinate the City’s response and preparedness for the impact of COVID-19 on our community. The group has been meeting regularly, and communicates daily to keep abreast of the latest updates and developments. As of this afternoon, I wanted to update you on the important measures the City has put into place and steps we have taken to ensure that we are mitigating the impact of COVID-19, as well as efforts families and individuals can take to help protect themselves and our community.

  • Our primary focus remains to be continuity of essential public services.
  • We have been working with department heads, Town of Oneonta officials, the Otsego County Department of Health, local schools, representatives from both Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta, healthcare organizations, and the NYS Governor’s Office to discuss and plan for the impact of COVID-19 on our employees, residents, and visitors.
  • City employees have been advised of best practices to prevent the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19. In addition, we have increased the frequency and methods for sanitizing City facilities, including common surfaces (i.e. doorknobs, handrails, bathrooms, counters), as well as buses and bus stops.
  • The Oneonta Fire Department (OFD) continues to follow CDC guidelines to make ambulance transportation safe for both patients and crew. OFD continues to work with the Otsego County Office of Emergency Services to coordinate our response to the potential for an increase in calls for service related to COVID-19.
  • The Oneonta Police Department (OPD) promotes CDC guidelines on preventive hygiene, and has increased situational awareness in responding to calls. Both our police and fire departments continue to work together to ensure a coordinated emergency response to any calls for service.
  • At this time, Oneonta Public Transit continues to run on a largely normal schedule, including paratransit. Minor route modifications due to the extended college break will be published. 
  • The City will follow the Governor’s recommended guidelines in regards to public events and meetings. Specifically, all non-urgent meetings of City Boards and Commissions have been cancelled for the month of March. All Common Council meetings will be live-streamed through Facebook Live; the public is strongly encouraged to attend remotely. Check the City’s website or social media for the most up to date information in regards to meeting cancellations.
  • All recreational activities on City property are cancelled until further notice. This includes all events held at the Armory (Teen Center, Little League, Blendos basketball, etc.).
  • We are updating the City’s website to include a page dedicated to the unfolding COVID-19 situation, including important information on the City’s continued response, as well as additional information and resources from community partners and other organizations. Additionally, you will receive a special alert (combination of phone, email, or text) via the City’s community messaging platform, Nixle, with information on subscribing to a newly created distribution list for COVID-19 updates. By voluntarily opting in to receive periodic alerts, you will be kept up to date on the most current information available from the City. If you have difficulty subscribing, please contact the City Clerk’s office at (607) 432-6450, or

In addition to the City’s efforts, there are many things you can do to help protect our community from the spread of illness, as well as to be prepared for its impacts. These steps include:

  • Continue with good preventive hygiene, including washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before you eat. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and then discard the tissue in a closed container. Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects in your home (including your cell phone). Stay home from work or school when you are sick.
  • Prepare as you would for a winter storm, including purchasing some extra foods like canned goods, dry pasta, and peanut butter. Have soap, hand sanitizer, tissues, and fever reducing medications on hand. 
  • Be prepared for changes in daily schedules, including making plans for childcare due to the temporary school closure.
  • Practice social distancing by avoiding mass gatherings and by keeping a distance of at least six feet between yourself and others when possible. 
  • Stay informed through reliable sources, including the New York State Department of Health, CDC, Otsego County Department of Health, and the City of Oneonta.

Although there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the City of Oneonta or Otsego County at the time of this release, it is imperative that we exercise an abundance of caution by adopting precautionary measures. During this health event, it is important to remain calm, use common sense, and stay informed. The City of Oneonta remains committed to keeping you informed, safe and healthy.

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