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Saturday, December 5, 2020

Top Stories > Health

COVID cases climb once again

Oct 29, 2020

By Isabel Braverman - staff writer

REGION — In the past two weeks Sullivan County has seen an increase in the number of positive cases of coronavirus.
The county is reporting 89 active cases currently, which is up from 41 active cases just one week prior.
“Community-wide transmission is occurring, but there are no large clusters at this time,” Public Health Director Nancy McGraw said. “There are many isolated positive cases here and there at several different school districts, and we're working with them closely.”
On Wednesday the Monticello Central School District learned that a staff member at the George L. Cooke Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the school district, the individual was last in the building on October 23 and had a limited number of contact with other individuals in the building.
School administration has made initial contact with all expected direct contacts and advised them to stay home until contacted by the Sullivan County Public Health Services with further instructions.
The Cooke School and all other district schools were expected to be open as scheduled yesterday.
Eldred Central School District closed school buildings on October 22 after a confirmed case of COVID at the elementary school. Remote instruction is ongoing during the 14-day quarantine.
Sullivan County Public Health Services and Sullivan BOCES will host a virtual school community forum on November 4 at 6 p.m. to provide answers to commonly asked COVID-19-related questions.
For information on how to join via Zoom go to www.sullivanny.us/news/get-your-covid-19-questions-answered. You can submit questions by November 2 to publichealth.forum@scboces.org.
In recent weeks, Public Health Services have issued alerts about potential exposures in the community.
They are alerting anyone who visited Autozone Auto Parts in Liberty on October 17 and October 18 between noon and 9 p.m. that they may have been exposed to an employee who tested positive and worked on these dates during the infectious period.
“Although we believe that the employees wore masks routinely, many customers may not have been doing the same, and may have been exposed,” said McGraw. “If someone thinks they have been exposed and develops symptoms, they should self-quarantine for 14 days and call their healthcare provider if symptoms develop, or call Sullivan County Public Health Services at 845-292-5910.”
Although cases may be rising in the county, statewide the positivity rate is at 1.39 percent, the second lowest rate of any state in the country per Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday that California has been added to New York State's COVID-19 travel advisory. Neighboring state Massachusetts now meets the criteria for the travel advisory, in addition to Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
"We know COVID is spreading at increased rates in other states and New York State is not in a hermetically sealed bubble,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The numbers are a reminder that COVID is still here and continues to spread in communities across the state, particularly when people choose not to follow the safety protocols in place to control the virus.”
McGraw highlighted an important message for residents to be safe during the holiday season; large gatherings are not recommended.
“Going into the holidays people need to be really aware of the importance of continuing to wear a mask, wash their hands and stay socially distant,” McGraw said. “The more time we spend indoors, the more risk there is of transmission.”

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