(Ithaca, NY – February 7, 2020) – On Sunday, February 2, an individual in Tompkins County met the person under investigation (PUI) criteria for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) submitted samples for testing to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since being evaluated, the individual was isolated, continues to be monitored by TCHD nurses, and a contact investigation was conducted. On Thursday, February 6, the test results for this individual were negative for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The individual is no longer a PUI and was released from isolation.
The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) continues to work closely with local medical providers including Cornell Health, Ithaca College Health Center and Cayuga Medical Center, to protect the health and well-being of our community. As announced by Cornell University, there is another PUI currently in isolation and being monitored by TCHD nurses. Samples were sent to the CDC and results are pending. Guidance from the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the CDC is informing our process for prevention and response.
The 2019 novel coronavirus may cause symptoms including:
The coronavirus is spread from someone who is sick through the air by coughing or sneezing, close personal contact, or touching surfaces where the virus is present.
If you returned from travel to China in the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough or trouble breathing, you should:
Seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
Stay home and avoid contact with others until you are well.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
On Sunday, February 2, CDC and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection implemented additional health screenings for travelers who are entering the U.S. from China. TCHD will be notified of the return of any travelers from China to Tompkins County. Any travelers from China will be quarantined and monitored by TCHD nurses for 14 days post departure from China. Quarantine means that even those who do not have symptoms are required to stay home away from others during the defined period to monitor their health status.
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, TCHD always recommends everyday actions to help prevent the spread of viruses. Follow these steps to protect yourself:
Get the flu vaccination if you have not done so already
Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Stay home if you are sick
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces and objects
A hotline is available for New Yorkers to call for information about the novel coronavirus: 1-888-364-3065.
Stay informed. Get updated information on coronavirus at:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/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