Oswego County reports 3rd COVID-19 patient, testing expands (copy)

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is pictured above, as rendered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials urge residents to stay home as much as possible

OSWEGO - The number of COVID-19 cases in Oswego County doubled, from four to eight, over the last 24 hours, according to county officials, who are urging residents to avoid public places and groups of people as much as possible.

Oswego County announced a fourth confirmed COVID-19 case Wednesday evening, and less than 24 hours later announced eight tests had come back positive. Statewide more than 37,250 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed, with the number of deaths topping 380 in the state and 1,000 across the country.

The county Health Department reported as of Thursday evening 228 people in the county have been tested for COVID-19. In addition to the eight positive cases, the county has received 137 negative results. Officials said the results of 79 tests are still pending.

There are 82 individuals in Oswego County in precautionary quarantine and another 30 in mandatory quarantine or isolation.

Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup, R-Central Square, said as the number of cases has risen to eight, county health officials are tracking down family members and other contacts and placing them in mandatory quarantine or isolation. Weatherup said each of the patients in the county are recovering at home.

The Oswego County patients include a young child and adults between the ages of 20 and 75. Officials said none of the current cases appear to be related.

Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang urged residents of all ages throughout the county to diligently practice frequent hand washing and social distancing to prevent the continued spread of the virus.

"Anyone can be exposed to the COVID-19 virus at some point if they're not staying home and not following the protective guidelines recommended by the health department," Weatherup said. "No one in any area is immune from this virus. It knows no boundaries. That's why we closed the schools, that's why non-essential services have been closed, and that's why the governor is issuing executive orders."

Weatherup said individuals should not be out in public unless the trip is necessary. County officials are encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors, but to remain at least six feet away from other people during any outdoor activities.

"Don't go out in groups and make sure your kids are following these precautions," the chairman said. "This isn't the time for play-dates and visits with grandparents."

County officials said the local health department is following all the proper medical procedures to isolate, monitor and assist infected individuals, and Weatherup said heath officials are working closely with patients to identify and notify those who may have been in contact with patients who test positive for COVID-19 to ensure they are quarantined, tested or treated as needed.

The county Health Department is following the state Department of Health (DOH) guidelines for COVID-19 testing. Anyone with questions should contact their health care provider or the health department's COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330.

For more information about coronavirus, visit the Health Department's website or call the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330 or the state COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

Residents can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.

County officials urge residents to do the following:

* Stay home as much as possible.

* Avoid non-essential gatherings of all types and sizes.

* Keep six feet from other people.

* Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially

before eating.

* Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

* Get a flu shot.

* Stay home if you are sick.

* Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.

* Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

* Call your healthcare provider from home if you are experiencing symptoms such

as a fever, cough or shortness of breath.

* Do not go to urgent care or an emergency department unless you are

experiencing life-threatening conditions.

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