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We received notification of five new cases today. Three of the new individuals who tested positive are students in the Watkins Glen Central School District. The students are all from the same household and only one attended school while potentially contagious. Students and faculty who had contact with that student have been notified. We are still confirming information and completing contact tracing. We will provide the normal update image tomorrow afternoon. Thank you for your understanding.
Remember that this virus can spread rapidly if given the chance. Take care of yourself, your loved ones, and our community by wearing a mask in public, limiting contact with people who aren’t members of your household, washing your hands often, and cleaning/disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. And if you do feel ill, even if you only feel a little sick, get tested then stay home. To learn more about how these steps work together to slow the spread of COVID-19, please visit: http://schuylercounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/8858/COVID-19-Prevention-How-it-works. If you plan to travel, please self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return to keep our community healthy. Stay current on the travel advisory by visiting: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.
The table above only includes individuals who have been tested for COVID-19. There could be other people with COVID-19 in the community who haven’t been tested and have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. That’s why it is important we all continue to take the above steps to keep our community safe and healthy.
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 individual 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).
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. 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.
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.
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 14 days since they were exposed to the person with COVID-19, unless they develop symptoms. Daily 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.
A person is considered recovered once all three of the following happen:
The COVID-19 diagnostic test checks for the presence of the virus at the time of sampling. Antibody testing is different – it checks to see if you have ever had the virus. Because this is a new virus, scientists are still figuring out: