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

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

OSWEGO — Another individual in Oswego County has tested positive for COVID-19, county officials announced Tuesday afternoon, bringing the total number of positive cases in the county to three.

In a recorded video message released at 4:30 p.m. on the official Oswego County website, Facebook and YouTube pages, Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup said he and other county health officials and experts will release information in video format on a regular schedule of each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at approximately 4:30 p.m.

The newest Oswego County COVID-19 patient is between 60 and 70 years old and is recovering at home, Weatherup said. The individual had traveled recently within the United States and the Oswego County Health Department is “investigating and notifying any patient contacts.”

Weatherup addressed the county’s decision to not release the geographic location of the newest positive COVID-19 case.

“We realize people are anxious and want to know where the positive cases are located,” Weatherup said, but based on guidelines from the state Department of Health and due to what he described as the relatively small size of the Oswego County community, that information would be kept confidential for now.

“We will not identify the location of positive COVID-19 patients for the health, safety and privacy of all involved,” Weatherup said, noting if direction from state authorities change, so may the county’s policy.

Oswego County Health Department Senior Public Health Educator Diane Oldenburg reported the newest county tallies for COVID-19: 169 residents have been tested or are scheduled to test and of those 169, three returned positive results. There have been 106 negative results and 60 tests are pending. The health department is currently monitoring 66 people under precautionary quarantine with nine people under mandatory quarantine or isolation. Precautionary quarantine patients receive communication from the health department once per day, Oldenburg said, usually in the form of a text message or phone call. Mandatory isolation and quarantine patients receive an in-person visit from a health department nurse each day, as well as a phone call, text or FaceTime call, Oldenburg said, while “looking for signs and symptoms or an overall change in status.”

Testing for COVID-19 is authorized when:

  • A person has been quarantined and develops signs and symptoms.
  • A person has a negative flu test and respiratory panel, and has signs and symptoms.
  • A person has traveled to a level 2 or 3 country (currently China, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Europe or United States hotspots such as New Rochelle, New York City, Westchester County, and Seattle) in the last 14 days and has signs and symptoms.
  • A person has had close contact with a confirmed case and has signs and symptoms.
  • A physician has ruled out other causes and feels testing is warranted.

“If you have symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath,  please call your healthcare provider from home,” said County Health director Jiancheng Huang. “If you do not have a healthcare provider, please call Oswego County's COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330. Do not go to urgent care or emergency departments unless you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms.”

For more information, go to health.oswegocounty.com, call the Oswego County COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330 or the New York state COVID-10 hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

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