Yates County responds to Coronavirus

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

The spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has all of our attention. Yates County leadership is working to protect our employees and the public by following all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), including taking the steps necessary to reduce the threat of COVID-19 exposure to all. Be diligent about hand washing, monitor yourself for symptoms and reduce close contact with others.  Currently, there is not a public health recommendation for precautionary quarantine at home.

Director of Emergency Management Brian Winslow has ordered surgical masks and hand sanitizer from NYS.  Tim Groth, Director of Information Technology has updated their website. Sheriff Ron Spike has temporarily suspended all visitation to the Yates County Jail to reduce risk of COVID-19 exposure.

The Governor banned mass gatherings. Starting March 13, gatherings with 500 people or more are not permitted. Additionally, the legal capacity for facilities with an occupancy of 500 or less is to be reduced by 50 percent. There will be exemptions for schools, hospitals, nursing homes, mass transit, and government buildings. According to the Governor, these measures will remain in place for the “foreseeable future.”

Below is messaging from our Public Health Department:

Yates County Public Health has been working with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) in response to the new strain of coronavirus, now called COVID-19. COVID-19 has caused an outbreak of respiratory illness. Yates County currently does not have any positive cases. Public Health urges the public to stay informed through accurate sources for information. We are encouraging everyone to be prepared but not panic. Below is the most up to date and accurate information we currently have available. 

What is Coronavirus?

• Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness in both humans and animals. 

• COVID-19 is a new strain in humans. 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

• Viral respiratory symptoms

• Fever (over 100°F), cough, shortness of breath

Who is at risk?

• Most people (80%) with COVID-19 will feel like they have a cold with very mild symptoms.

• Some people may require hospitalization. 

• People who are at most risk for severe illness are the elderly, people with multiple health conditions and weakened immune systems. 

How does COVID-19 Spread?

• Person to person spreading is occurring through respiratory droplets like coughing and sneezing. 

• Investigation into how easily COVID-19 spreads is still on-going.

How do I protect myself from viral illness (e.g., Flu, COVID-19)?

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

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

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched frequently.

• Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

What is Yates County Public Health doing?

• Public Health is notified of any individual requiring isolation or quarantine.

• Public Health will be notified of any positive case.

• We will work with individuals to ensure that proper precautions are taken to decrease the risk to others in the community.

• We will continue to work with local partners to ensure the health and protection of our community. 

As information and the situation around COVID-19 continues to change, we strongly encourage the public to visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html for the most up to date information; or call the NYSDOH COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065. The hotline is available 24/7. You may also contact Yates County Public Health at 315-536-5160.