Friday COVID-19 Update in Genesee and Orleans Counties
Written by Dan Fischer on March 27, 2020
For Friday, March 27
· As of 2:00 p.m. today:
o Genesee County received 3 new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 7 positive cases
§ One over the age of 65 residing in central Genesee County
§ One over the age of 65 residing in central Genesee County
§ One person under the age of 65 residing in western Genesee County
§ Currently three of the 7 positive cases under mandatory isolation are in the hospital.
o None of the new positive cases were under precautionary or mandatory quarantine when they became symptomatic and are not believed to be connected.
· For Orleans: No new positive cases have been reported today
· Contact tracing has been initiated for all the new cases. Known contacts have already been placed under mandatory quarantine and will be swabbed if indicated (if symptoms becomes present). If a person is identified as a contact, they will be notified by the County Health Department, quarantined and if warranted, swabbed if indicated. Limited information is provided to the public in compliance with HIPAA regulations and out of the respect of those impacted by this virus. When, and if, there is a situation where potential contact is made in a public location where contact tracing doesn’t have actual names we will send out a media announcement to help seek contacts.
· To Date: Genesee County has received 75 negative test results and Orleans County has received 74 negative test results for COVID-19. These negative tests give us a good indicator of what’s going on in our community. As discussed before, Flu continues to be prevalent with 8 in Orleans and 22 in Genesee for the week ending 3/14. This data continues to show a high number of respiratory illness in our counties is not COVID-19
· 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.
· Healthcare providers are advising patients undergoing swabbing that are symptomatic (based on availability and screening for high-risk) for COVID-19 to self-isolate until test results are received and COVID-19 is ruled out. Follow your healthcare provider’s advice.
· Currently, 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. We are not providing community testing at this time. We will be announcing further information on this as local capacity increases.
· Please remain home if ill, with all of the directives regarding social distancing that are still be in place, especially if a person has a negative COVID-19 result it is important to limit physical contact. Flu and COVID-19 are still transmittable and people should continue to remain home and limiting contact with others. Do not be afraid of people because they may be coughing or sneezing, they may have allergies, but continue to keep your distance (at least 6’).
· 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.
o If during contact tracing there is an issue of missing potential contacts we will provide locations. Not everyone who coughs or sneezes has a respiratory virus. People need to be respectful of the process and the guidance surrounding social distancing. COVID-19 is now community transmissible therefore people need to take social distancing seriously.
o There are consequences for not adhering to the directives. Non-compliance may prolong the spread of COVID-19 as well as increasing the spread which can overwhelm our healthcare systems.
o Sticking to the basics, limiting exposure to the public, frequent handwashing, staying home if ill with any respiratory illness, keeping 6’ distance from other people and sharing creative ideas to keep in touch with family and friends are what we need.
o Talking about who has or hasn’t been tested, is sick or sharing rumors about anything COVID-19 is increasing anxiety in many people. 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
Community Spread: Locations of positive cases are not indicative (telling) of where potential exposures can occur. It is not vital to know locations as the virus is considered to be everywhere. That is why we encourage everyone to continue with social distancing, frequent handwashing, proper cough/sneeze hygiene and frequent disinfecting of frequently touched objects and surfaces.
· Medical Concerns: If you feel you may have COVID-19, call your primary care provider or healthcare facility ahead of time. DO NOT GO DIRECTLY THERE, CALL AHEAD TO GET GUIDANCE. Swabbing will be based on those who are in higher risk categories – elderly and immune compromised and those with underlying health issues.
o Swab sample results are coming back slower than expected. With more testing, we expect this will continue. Whenever anyone is swabbed for potential COVID-19, self-isolation is advised until the test result is received.
· Snowbirds are returning to our counties: They may have returned from areas not hit as hard as New York, may have been exposed while out of state, and/or are members of the higher-risk population (over 65 / underlying health issues) we encourage you to self-isolate and monitor your health.
o If you become symptomatic, call your healthcare provider for guidance.
o Some may be concerned about exposure when going for supplies and prescription refills – many stores and pharmacies are providing special hours for seniors and people with underlying healthcare issues. There are also several stores / restaurants that provide curbside pick-up and delivery services call ahead and ask.
o Check in with family and friends and your social networks via phone or electronic means often to limit loneliness.
· 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. On-site septic systems and public sewers are not built to handle these types of materials and will cause problems. If you are using non-traditional products as toilet paper, they are to be thrown in the trash receptacles.
· At this time there are no FDA-approved drugs or treatments for COVID-19.
· There are also no over-the-counter COVID-19 tests. If you get an email, phone call, offer by mail or other solicitation for these scams, hang up and ignore them.
· This is a very important warning to reinforce for every County resident.
· The best medical advice for you comes from your healthcare provider.
|NEW YORK STATE CASES / RESTRICTIONS / GUIDANCE|
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today at his 11:30 a.m. press conference there are 16,272 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 44,635 positive cases in NYS.
· 6,481 (15%) COVID-19 patients are hospitalized.
· In today’s Governor’s briefing he stated schools are to remain closed for another 2 weeks and will be reassessed then. Locally our schools are monitoring the local impact and making decisions on a week-by-week basis as to when schools will re-open. Continue to follow your local school guidance.