(Ithaca, NY – March 14, 2020) – The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) was notified by the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) of a positive case of COVID-19 analyzed at the NYS DOH Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany, NY. The sample has been sent to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmation. The individual has been in isolation since the samples were collected for testing. TCHD public health nurses have begun a contact investigation to determine if there were any additional exposures. “While this is the first case of COVID-19 in Tompkins County, we are prepared to respond to limit future exposures and community spread of the virus. We are looking to our community to take shared responsibility by practicing social distancing and helping each other during the weeks to come,” stated Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director. Actions community members can take to slow the spread of disease remain the same: stay home if you are sick, cover you cough and sneeze, and wash your hands well and often, and avoid large gatherings if in the vulnerable populations. Those at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 include older adults, those who are immune-compromised, or have a chronic medical condition, especially heart or lung disease, and diabetes. Multiple agencies and organizations are working together to provide a unified, coordinated response. In an abundance of caution, many organizations will be changing their practices to best protect and serve the needs of our community. If you develop symptoms of illness including fever, cough, or trouble breathing, call your healthcare provider before you go to the office. As this situation evolves, TCHD will continue to send out updates and check the website for updates. Stay informed. Get updated information on COVID-19 at: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html NYS DOH: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/ World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 Visit the CDC’s Traveler’s Health webpage for the latest travel health notices at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html A hotline is available for New Yorkers to call for information about COVID-19: 1-888-364-3065. For more information go to the Health Department website: https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health. Frequently Asked Questions are here: https://tompkinscountyny.gov/health/factsheets/coronavirusfaq Find us on Facebook @TompkinsPublicHealth and Twitter@TompkinsHealth.
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