50 percent of recent Covid-19 cases locally didn’t show symptoms

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2020 at 12:52 pm

Public Health director says social distancing, masks especially important

Photo by Tom Rivers: Paul Pettit, the public health director in Orleans and Genesee counties, said about half of the recent Covid-19 cases in the two counties were asymptomatic. He is speaking at last week’s monthly meeting of the Orleans County Association of Municipalities.

ALBION – About half of recent the Covid-19 cases locally have been people who didn’t show symptoms of the coronavirus.

Paul Pettit, the public health director in Genesee and Orleans counties, said the cases were detected as part of mandatory state testing, typically for direct care, healthcare or nursing home staff.

Since June 30, there have been 52 new cases of Covid-19 in Genesee County and 22 new cases in Orleans County.

“Most were identified in the testing or screening that is required by the state,” Pettit said today.

The Health Department is seeing more younger people test positive. The median age in Monroe County last week was in the mid-30s.

Throughout the Finger Lakes Region, which includes Orleans and 8 other counties, Pettit said about 30 percent of positive cases recently have been people not showing symptoms of Covid-19.

That percentage has been even higher locally, with people who have Covid-19 but don’t show signs of any respiratory distress.

Pettit said the asymptomatic cases may give people a false sense of security, that they don’t have Covid-19 even though they feel healthy.

“If you are not symptomatic, you can still have it and spread it without being aware you are positive,” he said. “It goes back to why social distancing of at least 6 feet and wearing masking is so important.”

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