Genesee, Orleans fear cluster designation would have detrimental impact

Posted 28 October 2020 at 7:06 pm

Residents urged to continue to fight Covid spread so counties not identified as hotspot

Press Release, Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments

On October 6, Governor Cuomo announced a new cluster action initiative to address Covid-19 hotspots that have or may be identified in certain areas of New York.

“Under the Governor’s initiative to prevent cluster activity it is important to understand the detrimental impact having a cluster can have on our counties,” stated Rochelle Stein, Genesee County Legislative Chair. “Currently, neither Genesee nor Orleans counties have any such clusters/hotspots.”

We can take simple steps to continue our low positivity rates going forward. According to the Governor’s release, the state has developed a science-based approach to contain these clusters and contain any further spread of the virus, including new rules and restrictions directly targeted to areas with the highest concentration of Covid-19 cases and the surrounding areas.

• Under Executive Order 202.68, certain actives in cluster zones are restricted, and any permitted activities in such zones (Red, Orange, Yellow), must be conducted in strict adherence to Department of Health guidance.

• For more information go to the Empire State Development guidance and the New York Forward website for updated information on locations of and operating restrictions within the clusters.

The Cluster Initiative will take the most significant action within the cluster (Red zone), moderate action in the area surrounding the cluster to stop the spread (Orange zone), and precautionary action in the outlying communities (Yellow zone).

Fines for the sponsors of mass gatherings in violation of state public health rules will be increased to $15,000. To see the restrictions within the clusters, click here.

“As we continue to move forward through this pandemic and begin to see an increase in both testing and positive cases, we can expect to see changes in the cluster hotspots,” said Paul Pettit, director of Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “Generally the zones are identified as a hotspot for a period of 14 days, but that is also subject to change if the hotspot doesn’t show improvement during that time.”

GO Health continues to remind our residents of the relevant Executive Orders and Public Health Laws to:

• Limit gatherings, (the state maintains no more than 50 at any non-essential gatherings, fines may be levied to those ignoring this order);

• Properly wearing mask/face coverings (nose and mouth covered) whenever in public indoors and outdoors, especially when physical distancing is difficult to maintain;

• Frequently wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer (that contains at least 60% alcohol) if soap and water are not readily available;

• Consider alternatives to family and friend gatherings to decrease the risk of spreading the virus.

• With the impending flu season, it is also important to get this year’s flu vaccine to help lower the risk of being hospitalized with serious complications of the flu.

• As always, if you are experiencing any Covid-19 or flu symptoms – STAY HOME!

Symptoms for both Covid-19 (may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus) and the flu (generally sudden onset) can be similar and may include any of the following: fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell (Covid-19); sore throat; congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. Talk with your primary care provider before going to the office. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, and/or have bluish lips or face, seek emergency care immediately.

“We all want this to be over, but it will take time,” stated Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Legislative Chair. “We can get through this together if we take care of our health, limit contact with non-household members and be respectful and wear a mask/face covering when in public.”

Return to top