Jefferson County Public Health Service announces two new COVID-19 positives
WATERTOWN, N.Y. (March 26, 2020) – Today, the third and fourth cases of individuals with positive COVID-19 in Jefferson County were confirmed by LabCorp laboratory. The individuals are Jefferson County residents who are now in mandatory isolation by the Jefferson County Public Health Service. To date, there are four confirmed positive cases and 130 negative in Jefferson County.
One of the positive COVID-19 patients confirmed today is a Samaritan Medical Center direct patient care employee. The staff member worked March 23 and was screened before the individual’s shift with no symptoms present. While working, the staff member wore a mask at all times, since the individual had been in contact with another hospital patient who was under isolation precautions. This staff member did have contact with patients and staff members during the shift. Symptoms began March 25, and the staff member was tested then.
Jefferson County Public Health Service officials said they understand that the staff member recently traveled to Long Island. The staff is determining with whom the individual was in contact to establish daily monitoring protocols.
Staff at Samaritan Medical Center who were in contact with this employee will be screened every 12 hours and masked as a precautionary measure to help keep patients and other staff members healthy. Any current hospital inpatient who was cared for by the employee will be put under precautionary isolation measures.
The Jefferson County Public Health Service will perform a comprehensive case investigation of any exposed patient who has been discharged from the hospital, any staff members who may have been exposed, and any other community contacts of the positive individual, and initiate the appropriate type of quarantine per individual. Samaritan Medical Center is well-prepared to keep patients and staff safe by following these measures and helping to stop the spread of the disease.
Under current New York State Department of Health COVID-19 testing guidance, health care providers are now able to conduct COVID-19 testing without authorization from county health departments. The Jefferson County Public Health Service is working closely with providers to manage patients tested and determine which patients require precautionary quarantine until test results are confirmed. Currently, there are 125 individuals in Jefferson County under precautionary quarantine.
The Jefferson County Public Health Service continues to work closely with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about testing protocols related to disease transmission. Travel history is still a consideration, along with presentation of specific symptoms.
To date, there are 37,258 positive COVID-19 cases in New York state, with the vast majority of cases in New York City. Local health departments are actively monitoring suspected and positive cases throughout the state, and it is anticipated that the numbers of people requiring testing and monitoring will continue and grow.
All county health departments are in daily communication with NYSDOH communicable disease leadership to track and monitor exposure potential and possible disease transmission and occurrence in New York state.
The Jefferson County Public Health Service, working with the NYSDOH and the CDC, continues to advise individuals to:
- Do your part to stop the spread of germs:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practice social distancing.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
For the most up-to-date information, visit www.jcphs.org.
Jefferson County Public Health Service will continue to update the public regarding disease risk and status.
(Jefferson County Public Health Service)