TIERS helps with coronavirus screenings at Thousand Islands border crossing

wwny TIERS helps with coronavirus screenings at Thousand Islands border crossing

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Jefferson County Public Health is no longer monitoring anyone for the novel coronavirus. But, there are resources available at the Canadian border to monitor if necessary.

Two weeks have passed since Jefferson County Public Health announced a small number of people in the county were being monitored for the novel coronavirus.

"We're not even monitoring anyone anymore. Our risk is very low," said Public Health Planner Faith Lustik.

She says even with New York's low chances for exposure, the clinic is still keeping an eye on the virus as it treks through the U.S.

Currently, there are 16 confirmed cases in the country.

Meanwhile, the Thousand Islands Emergency Rescue Service, otherwise known as TIERS, has been called in to help with screenings for the coronavirus at the Thousand Islands-Canadian border.

TIERS will be called in if customs officials suspect someone needs extra screening for the illness.

"This is just helping us with public health to expedite the process at the border so we're not delaying people for hours at a time to wait for that assessment," said

Michael Bennett, TIERS chief.

Bennett says crews will typically take a basic health assessment and temperature check. He says it's common protocol with public health when a nationwide crisis like the coronavirus spreads.

"We're sure this is not going to be the last encounter of this type that we have. It allows that agreement to already be in place and have us ready to go without having to go through any memorandums of understanding or anything like that, the next time something like this comes up," he said.

TIERS officials will be paid $150 for up to 10 screens at a time.

"We want to monitor it and have good plans in place if indeed it does come to the U.S," said Lustik.

TIERS will continue border screenings for as long as the Centers for Disease Control recommends.

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