Public Health News
In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Schuyler County Public Health is working closely with County Administration, elected officials, and community partners, including Cayuga Health System and other healthcare providers and following guidance from the CDC and NYSDOH. The health and well-being of our community is our top priority. Remember that this virus can spread rapidly if given the chance. Please take care of yourself, your loved ones, and our community.
How can I do my part to protect myself, my loved ones, and my community?
- Get vaccinated - Getting vaccinated as soon as you can will help keep you, your family, and our community safe and help us all return to normal sooner. Learn more at: http://schuylercounty.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=469.
- Wear a mask and practice social distancing if you are not fully vaccinated. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially when you get home after being in public.
- Get tested for COVID-19, especially if you have symptoms. To find testing locations, visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you. Check with your insurance provider and the testing site as some locations may charge a fee for testing.
- Stay home if you are sick – even if your illness is mild.
How Can Residents Get Tested for COVID-19?
To find testing sites that offer both diagnostic and antibody testing for COVID-19, you can click here to use New York State’s "Find a Test Site Near You" search tool. Check with your insurance provider and the testing site as some locations may charge a fee for testing. You can also:
- Call your healthcare provider for instructions.
- Visit the Cayuga Health System sampling site in Ithaca. You can learn more about the sampling site in Ithaca and register to attend by clicking here.
- Call Schuyler Hospital at 607-535-8602.
- Schedule an appointment for free testing at the Corning Rite Aid by clicking here.
- Make an appointment for free testing through certain CVS pharmacies by clicking here.
- If you take an at-home COVID-19 test and it comes back positive, you should 1) stay home and start isolating away from others and 2) call our office at 607-535-8140 if you are a Schuyler County resident.
If you develop emergency warning signs of COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs may include: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face. Call 911 if you have a medical emergency.
Where can I learn more about the travel advisory?
Starting April 1, 2021, domestic travelers are no longer required to quarantine after entering New York from another U.S. State or U.S. Territory. Learn more about the NYS travel advisory at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory. For additional travel information, including information about international travel, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when someone tests positive?
When someone residing in Schuyler County tests positive for COVID-19, we at Schuyler County Public Health are notified of the results. We call the individual, inform them of their results, and conduct contact tracing to identify and quarantine individuals who may have been exposed. The individual is also put in mandatory isolation until they are no longer considered at high risk of transmitting COVID-19 to others based on criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
If you tested positive and have not heard from us or the NYS Contact Tracers within 24 hours, please call us to let us know about your test result. Your positive test result may have been reported to the wrong county or not properly reported to us.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may receive a text message that looks like this (image below) at the phone number you provided when you got tested. If you get a text message that looks like this, you can follow the steps in the text message to jump start the contact tracing process or you can wait for the health department to call you. We work 7 days a week and we will call you within 24 hours of us being notified of your test result. If you get a text message that asks for your banking or credit card information or your Social Security number – DELETE IT – we NEVER ask for that type of information.
What is contact tracing?
For contact tracing, we work with the individual to identify where they went and who they interacted with while they were contagious – this time frame includes the time while they had symptoms and the 48 hours before their symptoms started, per CDC and NYSDOH guidance. For people without symptoms, we look back 48 hours before they were tested.
People are considered at risk of getting COVID-19 if they are in the same household with someone with COVID-19, had direct physical contact with someone with COVID-19 or with their infectious secretions, or were within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for 10 minutes or more. This would include any people the person lives with and may also include coworkers, friends, or family the person spent time with. It could also include people in a public setting.
What is (and isn’t) a public exposure risk?
Some settings, such as healthcare facilities, daycares, and some types of businesses, keep detailed records of who enters and leaves their building. If the person who tested positive was in a location like this, this would not be a public exposure risk because we can work with the location to identify and contact everyone who may have been exposed to the virus by the person who tested positive.
If someone who tested positive reports they were in a setting that doesn’t keep records of who enters (such as a retail establishment), we work with the individual to determine who they may have exposed to the virus. We examine what precautions the person was following and review details about the setting. If they were in a setting like this and may have exposed people, this would be a public exposure risk because there are people who may have been exposed to the virus that cannot be identified and contacted. If a situation like this occurs, we will inform the community and recommend that anyone who was at the location take appropriate steps like self-quarantining and getting tested for COVID-19.
How do I know if I have been identified as a close contact?
Any individuals identified as close contacts are contacted by us, or the New York State Contact Tracers, and placed in quarantine to limit how many people they end up exposing if they do develop COVID-19. They are released from quarantine once it has been 10 days since they were exposed to the person with COVID-19, unless they develop symptoms. Check-ins are done with both the individual who tested positive and their contacts to monitor their health, make sure they have any food, prescriptions, or other supplies they need, and to check that the individuals are following the quarantine or isolation orders.
Where can I find out more about COVID-19?
- Click here for information on how to prevent getting sick
- Click here for information about daily activities and going out
- Click here for information about stress and coping
- COVID-19 FAQ for parents of children in school
- Click here for signage that businesses or other organizations can use to remind visitors to wear masks and social distance
- For New York State's guidance for businesses, schools, workplaces, and events, click here.
- For in-depth information and guidance from the CDC for businesses, schools, workplaces, and events, click here.
- Visit the New York State Department of Health’s website found here
- Call the New York State Department of Health 24/7 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065
- Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website found here
- Call Schuyler Hospital’s COVID-19 Hotline at 607-535-8602. Available Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.
- Call Guthrie’s COVID-19 Information Lines at:
- If you have a complaint or something else you want to report, you can contact the NYS PAUSE Task Force to file a complaint by visiting https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/new-york-state-pause or by calling 1-833-789-0470.