Local Public Health departments say they are prepared to respond to coronavirus

Posted 8 March 2020 at 7:50 pm

(Editor’s Note: Governor Andrew Cuomo today confirmed 16 additional cases of novel coronavirus in New York State since his last update, bringing the statewide total to 105 confirmed cases. Of the 16 new cases identified since the Governor’s last update, 12 are in Westchester County, one in New York City in the Bronx, one in Nassau, one in Suffolk, and one in Ulster. Additionally, the Governor today called on the federal government to expedite their approval of private labs and automated and manual testing to expand New York State’s testing capacity. He also encouraged New Yorkers to work from home, telecommute and avoid densely populated spaces whenever possible to help contain the spread of the virus.)

Press Release, Public Health Departments in Orleans & Genesee counties

“With Governor Andrew Cuomo’s declaration of a state of emergency in New York in response to COVID-19, the Genesee & Orleans County Health Departments are focusing on preparedness to respond to potential positive cases of COVID-19 in both counties,” stated Paul Pettit, Director, Genesee & Orleans County Health Departments.

New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has authorized health care providers to order testing for COVID-19. There is no evidence of the disease reaching Western New York, however, this is a rapidly evolving situation and the likelihood of more cases being identified in the coming days is possible. We will continue to update with local media as appropriate.

In Genesee and Orleans counties, we’ve had 12 people undergo precautionary quarantine based on travel history – 11 have been cleared, with none becoming ill, while one person remains in quarantine with no current illness and will remain under observation through the 14-day period.

“We encourage residents to remain calm; be prepared by making sure you have supplies on hand including a thermometer, fever-reducing over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen; and listen to factual reports from the CDC, NYSDOH, and Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments,” stated Pettit. “Our social media platforms will continue to post pertinent information/trusted links and can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with GOHealthNY as our user name. You can also call the NYS Coronavirus Call Center: 1-888-364-3065 for questions and answers about travel and symptoms or visit the CDC web site at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.”

While there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, these simple steps can help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses, including the flu (influenza) which is currently widespread:

• If you need to go to your primary care provider, a health center or the emergency room, call ahead to let them know your symptoms, travel and contact history.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Stay home if you are sick. If you have a fever, vomiting and/or diarrhea you should stay home at least 24 hours after the last incident without fever-reducing / anti-diarrhea medications.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue cover your mouth with your elbow.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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