Liberty, NY – As COVID-19 cases continue to climb locally and Statewide, Sullivan County Public Health Services is remaining focused on vaccination, education and self-empowerment.
“As I’ve been saying since the pandemic began, staying safe from COVID starts with each of us taking personal responsibility,” Public Health Director Nancy McGraw reaffirmed. “That’s become even more important now, as this new wave has stretched government and healthcare resources to their limits. For example: the dramatic and ongoing spike in coronavirus transmission has overwhelmed the State’s contact tracing system, meaning that it could be days before those exposed to someone with COVID-19 get follow-up notification.”
Thus, Sullivan County Public Health Services recommends the following if someone tests positive, either via an at-home test or one rendered in a professional setting:
1. Isolate the positive case from other family members. Household members who are not positive should wear masks while in the home, and quarantine. Those who are fully vaccinated (two or more doses) do not need to quarantine.
2. Notify close contacts so they can decide to get tested if they become symptomatic. However, anyone who is fully vaccinated (two or more doses) and is a close contact of a positive person does not need to quarantine unless they become symptomatic – but they should wear a mask at all times indoors.
3. Anyone who tests positive should not attend work until there’s a dramatic improvement of symptoms, plus three (3) days without a fever (without the use of fever-reducing products). They must also wear a mask while in public: KN95s are recommended. Contact the Community Assistance Center at 845-807-0925 to find a local supply point.
4. Public Health and its local healthcare partners are not recommending a confirmatory PCR test after a positive at-home test. Should someone test positive via an at-home kit, they should follow the steps outlined above.
5. If shortness of breath or worsening of symptoms is encountered, do not hesitate to call 911.
6. The above information does not take the place of medical advice from a provider; the individual’s particular healthcare provider should be notified about specific symptoms or treatment questions.
7. Vaccination remains the best defense against serious complications from COVID, hospitalization, and death. Please visit www.sullivanny.us for a regularly updated list of clinics and pharmacies in Sullivan County where you can receive vaccines and boosters.
The NYS Department of Health issued an updated Advisory which supersedes portions of previous guidance related to returning to work after COVID-19 infection and reduces the isolation period from 10 days to 5 days under certain circumstances: www.coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2021/12/return-to-work-isolation-guidance_12-24-21.pdf. Please call Public Health at 845-292-5910 if you are under isolation and need guidance for returning to work.
“This is a tough and concerning surge of cases and will not likely improve until well after the holidays,” acknowledged McGraw, “and we ask everyone to use patience and educate yourself about staying safe and well. Each of us can take steps to protect ourselves and our families from COVID, just like with any virus or illness. And the more we take these steps together as a community, the better our outcomes will be.”