Two cases of self-quarantine in area

JOHNSTOWN — At least two Fulton County residents are in a “self-quarantine” situation from the coronavirus, county Emergency Management Director Steven Santa Maria said this morning.

But no confirmed cases are being reported yet in the county.

“Last I knew, it was two [self-quarantined],” Santa Maria told The Leader-Herald.

He was slated to meet this morning with Fulton County Public Health Director Laurel Headwell. She couldn’t be reached for comment.

Two confirmed cases of coronavirus were reported in Saratoga County over the weekend. State health officials as of this morning confirmed 16 additional cases of novel coronavirus in New York state, bringing the current statewide total to 105 confirmed cases. The state Department of Health website this morning reported these positive cases: Westchester County — 82; Nassau County — five; Rockland and Saratoga counties — two each; and Suffolk and Ulster counties — one each.

Worldwide — as of this morning —there were 111,420 cases of coronavirus, and 3,883 deaths.

Official state information on coronavirus, or what is known in the medical community as Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), can be found at this website:

The public can also call: 1-888-364-3065 for information about coronavirus.

Cuomo over the weekend called on the federal government to expedite their approval of private labs and automated and manual testing to expand New York state’s testing capacity. He also encouraged New Yorkers to work from home, telecommute and avoid densely populated spaces whenever possible to help contain the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, local entities such as Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville, are working closely with the New York State Department Of Health.

“We’re staying on top of it,” hospital Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations Cheryl McGrattan said today. “There’s a lot of planning going on.”

She didn’t want to answer whether the hospital’s emergency room saw more visits than usual over the weekend.

“I’m not going to share anything about that,” she said.

But McGrattan did have one strong message to loved ones or friends of current patients at Nathan Littauer Hospital: Keep your visits to a minimum. She said that message actually went out late last year for the flu and it remains more important than ever now.

“We have visitation restrictions in place from the flu,” she said.

McGrattan is urging people to pick up a phone and call their loved ones at the hospital when possible.

A message on the Nathan Littauer Hospital website states:

“Like many hospitals across the country, Nathan Littauer has been working to ensure we are equipped and ready to respond to COVID- 19. We are committed to the health and safety of our patients, visitors, and employees. Our preparations involve ensuring we are equipped to respond to any potential cases in our area. We are continuing to work closely with New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health departments to actively monitor and respond to this dynamic situation.”

Cuomo stated Sunday: “We are continuing to test people and are working with hospitals and local governments to give them the resources they need to contain the spread of this virus. We mobilized quickly but the federal government has been slow off the mark and they continue to be slow. That’s unacceptable — we need them to approve these private labs today so we can stay ahead of this evolving situation. Worse than the virus right now is the fear pandemic — and getting these additional facilities online will ensure we have more facts that will help keep people calm.”

According to the DOH, the new coronavirus was first detected in China and is now spreading worldwide. This virus causes a disease called COVID-19 and can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath. There are thousands of confirmed cases in a growing number of countries internationally and the virus is now spreading in the United States. There are ongoing investigations to learn more about this virus. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern, or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas, should call ahead to their health care provider before seeking treatment in person.

The DOH says coronavirus may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like: cough, fever, trouble breathing and pneumonia. The CDC believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

If you recently traveled internationally and feel sick with fever, cough or trouble breathing, you should: seek medical care right away, call ahead and tell them about your travel and symptoms, avoid contact with others; stay home, except for seeking medical care; avoid further travel until the illness resolves, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve — not your hands — when coughing or sneezing, and wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

While there is currently no vaccine to prevent this virus, these simple steps can help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses:

∫ People should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

∫ Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

∫ Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

∫ Those who are sick should stay home.

∫ Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

∫ Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Kerry Minor

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