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County focuses on slowing youth infections

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The Cortland County Legislature met last night and renewed a warning about local trends matching those across the state and country seeing an uptick of positive COVID-19 cases among youth.

Chairman Paul Heider said the county’s working with several partners on developing a message to curb that trend.

Heider said that group currently includes county health officials and department heads with other representatives from Guthrie Cortland Medical Center – and soon to include others from SUNY Cortland.

Even with all the help, Heider says it will be crucial for youth themselves to buy into the effort and get involved.

“When a youth gets COVID, s/he brings it back to parents and grandparents,” Heider said. “Those are the major concerns for our County – to let not happen here what’s happening throughout the rest of the country.”

Adding to that message was Lisa Perfetti, who was also renewed last night for a second three-month term as the county’s acting health director.

She’s been at that post since May, when she took over for the retiring Cathy Feuerherm after her three decades of service.

Perfetti confirmed that local youth cases have gone up in recent weeks, blaming that largely on increased social gatherings associated with the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays.

“We must be diligent to prevent the same increase after Labor Day, especially considering that schools will be planning to reopen,” Perfetti said.

Since her arrival to the job, the total number of positives in Cortland County has more than doubled to now 80 cases.

Twelve are currently active and 68 have recovered, with another 160 individuals being monitored.

Nearly 12k negative results have been reported.

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