No new Covid-19 cases in Orleans, Genesee has 3 more

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 March 2020 at 5:23 pm

Paul Pettit, Public Health director in Orleans and Genesee counties, speaks at the Orleans County Legislature chambers this afternoon. This image is from a computer screen. The meeting was online through Zoom.

Genesee County now has three more confirmed cases of Covid-19, bringing the county’s total to 7, while Orleans County doesn’t have any new cases to report today, keeping the county at 4 confirmed cases.

Paul Pettit, the Public Health director for the two counties, shared the update during an on-line conference with local reporters at 4 p.m.

In Genesee, two of the new cases are people over age 65 in the central part of the county, while the third is under age 65 in western Genesee.

Pettit said the Health Department isn’t giving more information about the peoples’ ages, what town they live in or their gender, even though some in the community have asked for more specifics.

“Respect / Social Responsibility / Fear mongering / Consequences – A reminder Genesee and Orleans Counties are small counties where just about everyone ‘knows your name,’ with that in mind the Health Departments are mandated to adhere to HIPAA regulations therefore we are not releasing potential identifying information of anyone who is under our care,” the Health Department said in a news advisory.

The relevant information, Pettit said, is there is community spread of the virus. If people develop symptoms of a respiratory illness, they should stay home and call a doctor’s office.

People in general should maintain social distancing when they are in public, staying at least 6 feet away from others.

“Talking about who has or hasn’t been tested, is sick or sharing rumors about anything COVID-19 is increasing anxiety in many people,” according to the advisory from the Health Department. “Be respectful and stay home as much as possible. It is safe to go outside or for a ride, but be mindful to keep at least 6’ distance between other people.”

Cumulative Data

Genesee County has received 75 negative test results and Orleans County has received 74 negative test results for COVID-19.

People seeking those tests had symptoms. Some of them had the flu.

Pettit said the flu remains prevalent in the community, with eight new cases in Orleans and 22 new cases in Genesee, for the week ending March 14.

“This data continues to show a high number of respiratory illness in our counties is not COVID-19,” Pettit said.

• Orleans County: 6 people are under precautionary quarantine, 8 people are under mandatory quarantine, and 4 people are under mandatory isolation – 1 of whom is hospitalized and 3 are recovering at home (one out of county).

• Genesee County: 17 people are under precautionary quarantine, 34 people are under mandatory quarantine, and 4 people are recovering under mandatory isolation at home and 3 person are under mandatory isolation and are hospitalized.

Clearance Protocol

Currently, the Health Department says the NYS clearance protocol for discontinuation of mandatory isolation for persons with confirmed COVID-19 is the following: it has been at least 7 days since the initial positive test for COVID-19, at least 3 days without fever and no use of fever-reducing medication, improvement in the signs and symptoms of the illness and 2 negative swabs at least 24 hours apart.

“Swabbing through the Health Departments is warranted as part of our quarantine/isolation protocol for those who become symptomatic,” the Health Department said in a news advisory. “We are not providing community testing at this time. We will be announcing further information on this as local capacity increases.”

Be careful what you flush

Toilet Paper:  A reminder that flushing non-traditional toilet paper, such as tissues, paper towel, baby wipes and more will more than likely cause plumbing issues, the Health Department said.

“On-site septic systems and public sewers are not built to handle these types of materials and will cause problems,” the Health Department said. “If you are using non-traditional products as toilet paper, they are to be thrown in the trash receptacles.”

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