MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County’s Department of Health is reinforcing that the risk for infection by COVID-19, the novel Coronavirus, is currently low in Chautauqua County, despite the confirmation of three cases in the New York City area.
“Our department is working closely with the New York State Department of Health to monitor local conditions, and educate and restrict movements of persons who have traveled to affected countries,” said Christine Schuyler, Director of Health and Human Services. “The goal is to slow the spread of this virus.”
This is a continuously evolving situation. Depending on your travel history, you will be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread or ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice). At the present time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated China, Iran, Italy and South Korea with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice.
“Chautauqua County has an existing Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan,” said Schuyler. “In conjunction with NYSDOH guidance, we are working diligently with our partners, including emergency services, law enforcement, health care systems, and schools, to now include an annex on COVID-19 to respond to any suspected or confirmed cases, as well as any asymptomatic person, with potential COVID-19 exposure that could affect Chautauqua County.”
“I remind everyone to use universal precautions when it comes to preventing disease,” said PJ Wendel, Chautauqua County Executive.
Residents are advised to go about their daily lives, stay calm, and take routine precautions to prevent respiratory diseases, including:
· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
· Avoid close contact with sick people.
· Stay home when you are sick.
· Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
· Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
Masks are not recommended for healthy individuals. Supplies are limited and should be reserved for people who have compromised immune systems, and for ill persons to prevent them from spreading the virus by cough or sneeze.
If you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have traveled to an affected area listed on the CDC website (currently: China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea) or were in close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the 14 days before you began to feel sick, seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
General questions regarding novel coronavirus and travel may be directed to the New York Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.