CHENANGO COUNTY – The Department of Social Services Deputy Commissioner Daniel Auwarter presented an update on how COVID-19 has effected services provided to the Chenango County Area.
Auwarter stated the Governors mandate to cut staff presented a large challenge to the department.
“I have one of the largest departments in the county. We have almost 100 employees. We had to reduce our staff by 50 percent and it was a remarkable challenge to do that. I have to give all of the credit to my staff and supervisors who pulled off a mathematical miracle to do this. Our programs are mandated by law so all my staff are considered essential,” said Auwarter. “At 50 percent staff we still don't have a reduction in any of our programs. All of our programs are running at full capacity with half the staff.”
One challenge the county is facing is working remotely. The State Welfare Management System is an older system, according to Auwarter, and staff who use that system can not work remotely, they have to be on site.
Auwarter said the SNAP program, which is the program with the largest eligibility rate, will be impacted the most.