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County officials renew call for vigilance against virus

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With covid-19 surging, officials in Cortland County renewed a call for vigilance yesterday.

In a statement, Legislative chairman Paul Heider and public health director Lisa Perfetti urged all members of the community to take action before things get worse.

Residents and business owners are asked to limit non-essential daily activities as much as possible — citations could be issued to repeat violators.

While many blame the uptick on the arrival of SUNY Cortland, Heider countered that way of thinking:

“We are one community. Please do not point fingers at any one particular group and recognize that we all have a role to play in getting through this.”

“A significant number of the recent cases in the community are SUNY Cortland students, but we are also
seeing a significant number of non-student cases as well,” added Perfetti. “Faith-based services, school settings, family birthday parties and small gatherings where social distancing and mask wearing is not adhered to are identified sources of recent spread in the Central New York area, including our county.”

Perfetti said it’s imperative to stay home when you do not feel well, especially since people who get sick from the virus are typically the most contagious before they show any symptoms.

Heider says “It’s those small parties, non-essential activities, unnecessary trips to the store, or just connecting with people you haven’t seen in a while that all create opportunities to pass the virus in our community.”

County health officials reminded the public about the importance of quarantining while waiting for test results or if you or family members have come into contact with a positive individual.

The following can be done to prepare for the potential of having to isolate or quarantine:

  • Ensure a two week supply of medications, groceries and cleaning supplies
  • Identify a friend, neighbor or outside family member who could obtain supplies you might need if
    quarantined
  • Be able to report places you have been to and people you have seen to assist contact tracing activities
  • Have discussions with your employer about next steps with your job if you (or your small child) are required
    to isolate or quarantine
  • Answer your phone so that the health department and the contact tracing team can reach you to review your
    instructions

“Let’s work together as a community to get a handle on this before more heavy handed measures including closures are put upon us by Albany,” Heider said.

According to the latest data from the county health department, there are currently 151 positive out of a total of 642 to-date — just a month ago, that number was under 200 cases; on September 1 it was less than 100.

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