The Ulster County Government has set up a 24/7 interactive platform designed to answer residents’ questions related to the pandemic.
Ulster County’s COVID-19 Virtual Center will also offer county-specific information related to the pandemic, including locations for testing sites and updates on the status of businesses, transportation, schools and public services. The county developed the tool in partnership with Armonk-headquartered IBM utilizing IBM Watson Assistant for Citizens.
“Now more than ever, government must innovate to meet the needs of our residents,” County Executive Pat Ryan said. “In Ulster County, we have stepped up our game and we will continue to push boundaries and explore even more ways to help our community during this trying time. I want to thank IBM for their assistance in allowing us to be one of the first governments in the nation to use this cutting-edge technology. This new approach will undoubtedly streamline our ability to serve and protect Ulster County.”
“Governments are turning to AI solutions to help them improve citizen satisfaction, so agencies can deal with the most crucial requests,” said Stephen Lafleche, IBM’s senior executive for New York state. “We have developed AI on a global basis for many years, and we are proud to bring this technology to Ulster County to help them meet the growing demand for information by the county’s citizens.”
Ulster residents can continue to utilize its COVID-19 Hotline at (845) 443-8888. Since launching last month, the hotline has received over 10,000 calls, resulting in 4,000 calls directly responded to by operators. The hotline is also now fully accessible in Spanish.