Public Health Director Update: Community Transmission Stops With You!

March 27, 2020

The circumstances around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to change on a daily basis, with the greatest change being around testing. Previously individuals could report to their primary care doctor, and if symptomology suggested COVID-19 as a likely diagnosis, they could be sent to a drive through COVID-19 outpatient testing location. Swabbing would be done, and sent to the lab to determine COVID-19. This individual would be monitored for 14 days by Hamilton County Public Health Department.

Currently, there are no outpatient testing centers available to Hamilton County residents. These individuals are now being sent home from their primary care doctor under precautionary quarantine without confirmed laboratory testing. Hamilton County Public Health does not have testing kits. Testing is being done in the hospital settings for healthcare workers and hospitalized patients only at this time.

Our greatest risk in Hamilton County at this point is community transmission, where one individual comes in contact with someone who is carrying the virus, and then carries the virus to others, including family members.
What does this mean?

NYS and CDC data charts report confirmed cases only. Without testing being done, it will continue to show limited confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton County, making it appear that COVID-19 is not in Hamilton County.
We should conduct ourselves with the assumption that the Coronavirus is in Hamilton County, and anyone you come in contact with may be carrying the disease. Because the symptoms vary from individual to individual, what may present like a common cold/cough could in fact be the Coronavirus.

Highest Risk Individuals
Right now, the highest risk individuals are elderly with comorbidities, healthcare workers and those working in occupations that are considered “essential.” Be careful, use personal protective equipment (PPE) cautiously, wash your hands frequently and maintain 6 feet distancing precautions.
What can you do?

• Practice social distancing, maintain 6’ distancing when in public.
• Wash your hands frequently.
• Avoid gatherings.
• Stay home if you are sick.
• When going to pick up groceries/necessities, go alone. Do not bring your children into the store.
• Screen and limit visitors to your house.
We all must work together to prevent community transmission in Hamilton County!

Erica Mahoney,
Director of Public Health

Long Lake