Jefferson County hires TIERS to screen border for coronavirus

TIERS to monitor border

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Thousand Islands Emergency Rescue Service -- also known as TIERS -- will be working at Jefferson County's Canadian border to screen people for the novel coronavirus.

"If there is a need to do some monitoring and to do a quick examination, checking temperatures, that sort of stuff, TIERS will respond," county administrator Robert Hagemann said.

The county's Board of Legislators passed a resolution Tuesday night allowing TIERS to staff the border for the next two years.

Hagemann says it's a precaution for those going out of and coming into the country.

"There is a significant amount of travel because of the type of businesses we have here," he said. "We also have a military base, so we need to be very cognizant of what's going on."

Ginger Hall from the county's public health department briefed the board on the status of the virus.

Health officials have now confirmed 57 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States and there are 11 confirmed cases in Canada.

"So this emerging disease is a public health threat and we want to prevent the illness and the deaths that could come with this," Hall said.

U.S. officials say it's not a matter of if coronavirus will spread in the states, but when.

"We have plans, we have resources, so if that happens we have steps we can take," Hall said.

No one has been diagnosed with coronavirus in New York state and with one pending test result, it’s yet to be seen if that will change soon.

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