Knox NY in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

This week, I will be exploring Knox’s response to the COVID_19 pandemic. Knox, NY is located within Albany County and while there are many cases within the county, there are a limited number, if any, specifically in Knox.

the beginning of lockdown

On March 17th, The Town Of Knox Government Page (on Facebook, which is the way they have been communicating with the residents) released a list of how normal community resources would be changing. In addition to this, they urged residents to stay inside when possible. When in public, weak masks and social distance as well as washing hands frequently.

The Highway Department, Transfer Station, and Town Board continued to operate normally.

The Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Town Clerk, Building Inspectors, Town Court, Tax Collector, Tax Assessor, and all other boards and committees were put on pause until further notice. Contact information such as emails and phone numbers were provided for these offices in order to still be available for contact.

the local school

There is one local school, Berne-Knox-Westerlo, which closed down like all other schools across the country in March. The remainder of the year was done so online. In order to open in the  fall, the Governor of New York gave each school the opportunity to create a plan of action in order to open, following the guidelines put forth by the state.

One advantage of a small, rural school district is the ability for the staff at the school to have a relatively easier time coming up with a plan of action than large, urban schools.

They gave families the option of continuing the fully online option or a hybrid option. The hybrid option divided the high school and middle school up into two groups and did a 2-on-2-off mode. This meant that students in group 1 would be in person for say Monday and Tuesday and then online Wednesday and Thursday (vice vera for group 2).

For the elementary school kids, they were able to make it so every kid is able to come in five days a week. They made sure to prioritize the younger kids being able to come in all days of the week as it is much harder for young kids to do online school. I think this was a great thing to do for the younger kids; being able to get out of the house will have a positive effect on their mental health.

I have two sisters in high school, 10th and 11th grade, and they found it very difficult to do this hybrid option because of our internet access. There had been a few kids in the same classes who opted for the fully online option. Thus, they allow them to go in five days a week because they were not at capacity. This flexibility is another advantage of a small, urban schools.

knox town park

Amongst the pandemic, Knox Town Park put in a 1 mile long paved pathway in order to give residents a nice place to get outside and walk/run.

While this may seem like a small thing, it gives locals a place to be active as the local gym remains closed to this day.

This path was put in to entice resident to become more active, thus having a positive effect on the overall health of the community.

covid-19 resources

Since there are no healthcare offices in Knox, residents must use the recourses throughout the county for COVID-19 related resources.

Local testing sites can be found at:

  • New York State Testing Site
  • Whitney Young Health Center
  • Albany Med EmUrgent Care
  • Central Med Urgent
  • Community Care Physicians
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Priority 1 Urgent Care
  • Rite Aid
  • Samuel S. Stratton VA Medical Center
  • Walgreens
  • WellNow Urgent Care

The NYS Contact Tracing Program works to follow outbreaks within New York in order to mitigate the spread.

Response in a rural area

Overall, Knox did a great job in response to the pandemic. The numbers remain low and business are open. There seems to be a respect for mask wearing and social distancing throughout the town that contributes to this being possible.

The location does contribute to the low numbers. People live spread out and generally there aren’t many crowded areas, with exceptions to the school. As mentioned before, BKW has does a great job at adapting and accommodating to every student.


Works Cited

BKW CSD school reopening plan for 2020-21