THIS IS A RAPIDLY CHANGING SITUATION
INFORMATION CURRENT AS OF 4/22/20 AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE
PLEASE CHECK THE RENSSELAER COUNTY WEBPAGE AND FACEBOOK PAGE FOR UPDATES REGULARLY
For any other questions not covered in these FAQs, call the NYSDOH COVID-19 hotline at (888) 364-3065
Rensselaer County COVID-19 (Corona Virus) Hotline 518-270-0450
Rensselaer County Test Result Information 518-270-2659 M-F; 518-857-4660 after hours
Rensselaer County Department of Social Services: 518-266-7800/518-266-7850
Rensselaer County Department for the Aging: 518-270-2730 9-5 M-F; 518-270-2767 after hours
Rensselear County Mental Health Department: 24 hour hotline: 518-270-2800
NYS Department of Labor (518) 457-9000
NYS Attorney General’s office (212) 416-8700
Rensselaer County COVID-19 (Corona Virus) email: Coronainfo@rensco.com
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. On March 20, 2020, the CDC included “new loss of taste or smell, chills, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat as additional symptoms of COVID-19.
Preliminary information suggests older adults and people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems may be at higher risk of severe illness from this virus. CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 begin between 2 and 14 days after exposure.
WHY ARE WE SEEING A RISE IN CASES?
The number of cases of COVID-19 being reported in the United States is rising due to increased laboratory testing and reporting across the country. The growing number of cases in part reflects the rapid spread of COVID-19 as many U.S. states and territories experience community spread. More detailed and accurate data will allow us to better understand and track the size and scope of the outbreak and strengthen prevention and response efforts.
CAN I GET TESTED FOR COVID-19?
Yes, the NYS Novel Coronavirus Hotline is taking requests for testing in areas with state operated sites for individuals that meet the criteria below. Due to limited supplies, testing may be prioritized for first responders and health care workers. Please call 1-888-364-3065 for more information.
Testing for COVID-19 shall be authorized by a health care provider when:
• An individual has come within proximate contact (same classroom, office, or gatherings) of another person known to be positive; or
• An individual has traveled to a country that the CDC has issued a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice, and shows symptoms of illness; or
• An individual is quarantined (mandatory or precautionary) and has shown symptoms of COVID-19 illness; or
• An individual is symptomatic and has not tested positive for any other infection; or
• Other cases where the facts and circumstances warrant as determined by the treating clinician in consultation with state and local department of health officials.
If you think you need to be tested for COVID-19, you have choices:
•Contact your health care provider.
•Call the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) 2019 Novel Coronavirus 24-hour hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to be screened for the UAlbany testing site. No walk-ins will be allowed at the UAlbany testing site. You must make an appointment and be in a vehicle.
•Call Whitney M. Young, Jr Health Center at (518) 465-4771 to be screened for a testing appointment. Sites vary.
•Visit the NYSDOH COVID-19 Testing and Assessment Webpage
•CDC coronavirus self-checker. A guide to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care.
IS THERE A COMMERCIAL TEST KIT FOR COVID-19 THAT I CAN BUY AT THE STORE TO TEST MYSELF?
On 4/21/2020, the FDA authorized the first at-home COVID-19 test kit. The authorized test kits will be produced by LabCorp for the public to purchase. The Pixel by LabCorp COVID-19 Test home collection kits are expected to be made available to consumers in most states, with a doctor’s order, in the coming weeks. We do not know any further information at this time.
Clinical testing must be authorized by your doctor or the local health department in the county where you live.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION?
Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Someone in self-quarantine stays separated from others, and they limit movement outside of their home or current place. A person may have been exposed to the virus without knowing it (for example, when traveling or out in the community), or they could have the virus without feeling symptoms. Quarantine helps limit further spread of COVID-19.
Isolation is used to separate sick people from healthy people. People who are in isolation should stay home. In the home, anyone sick should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick” bedroom or space and using a different bathroom (if possible).
In NYS, the following definitions apply for quarantine and isolation related to COVID-19;
1) ‘Mandatory Isolation’ applies to the following persons:
• You have tested positive for COVID-19; OR
• Testing is currently unavailable to you, but you are symptomatic and have had contact with a known COVID-19 case.
2) ‘Mandatory Quarantine’ applies to the following persons:
• You have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is currently in mandatory isolation; OR
• You are symptomatic and have returned within the past 14-days from a country designated with a level 2, 3, or 4 advisory for COVID-19.
3) ‘Precautionary Quarantine’ applies to the following persons;
• You are asymptomatic and have returned within the past 14-days from a country designated with a level 2,3 or 4 advisory for COVID-19; OR
• You have been determined to have had proximate exposure with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
CAN THE VIRUS THAT CAUSES COVID-19 BE SPREAD THROUGH FOOD, INCLUDING RESTAURANT TAKE OUT, REFRIGERATED OR FROZEN PACKAGED FOOD?
Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20
seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day use a tissue to cover your coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, like a packaging container, that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging.
CAN MOSQUITOES OR TICKS SPREAD THE VIRUS THAT CAUSES COVID-19?
At this time, CDC has no data to suggest that this new coronavirus or other similar coronaviruses are spread by mosquitoes or ticks. The main way that COVID-19 spreads is from person to person.
SHOULD I USE SOAP AND WATER OR A HAND SANITIZER TO PROTECT AGAINST COVID-19?
Hand washing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
WHAT IS ANTIBODY/SEROLOGY TESTING? AND CAN I BE TESTED USING THIS METHOD?
Serology testing checks a sample of a person’s blood to look for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. These antibodies are produced when someone has been infected, so a positive result from this test indicates that person was previously infected with the virus.
CDC is working with other federal agencies to evaluate the performance of commercially manufactured serology tests that are becoming increasingly available from healthcare providers. This evaluation is expected to be completed in late April.
We do not know yet if the antibodies that result from infection with SARS-CoV-2 can protect someone from reinfection with this virus or how long antibodies to the virus will protect someone. Scientists are conducting research to answer those questions.
Serology tests may not be able to tell you if you are currently infected because it typically takes 1 to 2 weeks to develop antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. To tell if you are currently infected, you would need a test that identifies the virus in samples from your upper respiratory system, such as a nasopharyngeal swab.
If you are interested in being tested for antibodies, call the COVID-19 hotline at 888-364-3065 to find the nearest testing location. There are a limited number of antibody test kits available; many test sites have a maximum number of people they can test each day.
When fighting illness, the body produces antibodies—proteins that counteract a pathogen. Antibodies remain in plasma for weeks or months after recovery. The antibodies in patients who have recovered from COVID-19 attack the virus and can potentially be useful as a treatment for the virus.
Albany Medical Center is seeking additional plasma donors for further research. Eligible donors must be fully recovered from COVID-19 with no symptoms for at least 28 days. Candidates will be retested to ensure that the virus is no longer in their system. Once approved, the donations will then be collected by the American Red Cross similarly to how blood donations are made.
To determine eligibility, those who have recovered from COVID-19 can call 518-262-9340 beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, April 10.
SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT MY PET CAT?
At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the limited data available, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person, typically through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, or talking.
We are still learning about this virus and how it spreads, but it appears it can spread from humans to animals in some situations. CDC is aware of a small number of pets, including cats, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19.
A preliminary study from China suggests cats and ferrets are more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 than dogs, pigs, chickens, and ducks. Researches state “in summary, we found that ferrets and cats are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, dogs have low susceptibility, and livestock including pigs, chickens, and ducks are not susceptible to the virus.” Results indicated that cats are susceptible to “airborne infection.” Transmission of COVID-19 to cats is not thought to be from petting/transfer of germs onto the animal’s fur. The study did not include details for why cats were found to be more susceptible for contracting COVID-19.
People sick with COVID-19 should isolate themselves from other people and animals, including pets, during their illness until we know more about how this virus affects animals. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with pets. Please see the CDC’s FAQ page for further information about COVID-19 and animals.
Talk to your veterinarian about any health concerns you have about your pets. If your pet gets sick after contact with a person with COVID-19, do not take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself. Call your veterinarian and let them know the pet was around a person with COVID-19. Some veterinarians may offer telemedicine consultations or other plans for seeing sick pets. Your veterinarian can evaluate your pet and determine the next steps for your pet’s treatment and care.
CAN I WALK MY DOG?
Walking a dog is important for both animal and human health and well-being. Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people and animals, do not gather in groups, and stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings. Do not go to dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather. To help maintain social distancing, do not let other people pet your dog when you are out for a walk.
CAN COVID-19 BE PREVENTED?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to prevent exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of any respiratory viruses
• Wash your 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 your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash can and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
•Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Get a flu shot for yourself and your family members. This will not prevent COVID-19 but it will prevent you from getting flu, keeping you healthy and out of the hospital.
CAN COVID-19 BE TREATED?
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 and there is currently no vaccine. People infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment in a hospital might be required. Call your healthcare provider to find out more about what care and treatment is available to you.
DO I NEED TO STOCKPILE GROCERIES OR MEDICATIONS?
It is important to have a supply of medications and non-perishable groceries on hand in case of local community transmission of COVID-19. If you are concerned about a specific medication, please call your doctor and ask about supply, and ask about how frequently medications can be renewed based on your insurance policy. You can visit CDC COVID-19 High-Risk-Groups or the NYSDOH Preparing for COVID-19 webpages for more information.
NYS CLOTH FACE COVERINGS GUIDANCE
Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low-cost, and should be used as a public health measure, beyond social distancing.
Individuals must procure, fashion, or otherwise obtain face coverings and wear them when they are in a public and are:
• Within six feet of distance from other individuals;
• In a situation or setting where they are unable to maintain six feet of distance from other individuals;
• In a public or private transportation carrier or for-hire vehicle.
When wearing cloth face coverings in public settings, where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community transmission, you should:
•Make sure that they fit snugly and cover their nose and mouth.
•Be changed frequently and laundered when they are soiled or wet.
•Not become complacent with other protective measures:
◦Do not touch the cloth covering or face.
◦ Continue to be vigilant with thorough and frequent hand washing with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer of 60%+ alcohol.
◦ Practice respiratory etiquette and cover your coughs or sneezes.
◦ Practice social distancing – even when wearing masks.
◦ Stay home and help flatten the curve!
While cloth face coverings may not prevent the wearer from becoming infected, they might help slow spread from people who have the virus and are unaware.
Read the guidance document on use of cloth face coverings by the NYS Department of Health.
WHAT IS THE NYS DOH GUIDANCE FOR FACE COVERINGS IN THE WORKPLACE?
Executive Order 202.16 directs employers to provide essential workers with masks free of charge to wear when interacting with the public.
SHOULD CHILDREN WEAR MASKS?
CDC recommends that everyone 2 years and older wear a cloth face covering that covers their nose and mouth when they are out in the community. Cloth face coverings should NOT be put on babies or children younger than 2 because of the danger of suffocation. Children younger than 2 years of age are
listed as an exception as well as anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
Wearing cloth face coverings is a public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning ,and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms. Medical face masks and N95 respirators are still reserved for healthcare personnel and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
WHAT IS THE RISK OF MY CHILD BECOMING SICK WITH CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19)?
Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MY CHILD FROM COVID-19 INFECTION?
You can encourage your child to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by teaching them to do the same things everyone should do to stay healthy.
Clean hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Avoid people who are sick (coughing and sneezing)
Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)
Launder items including washable plush toys as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
WHILE SCHOOL’S OUT, CAN MY CHILD HANG OUT WITH THEIR FRIENDS?
The key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 is to limit contact as much as possible. At this time, any social gatherings in New York State are banned as a means to prevent the spread of the virus. Be aware children can still pass this virus onto others who may be at higher risk, including older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions. So while school’s out, limit time with older adults, including relatives, and people with chronic medical conditions.
WHAT STEPS CAN MY FAMILY TAKE TO REDUCE OUR RISK OF GETTING COVID-19?
Practice everyday preventive actions to help reduce your risk of getting sick and remind everyone in your home to do the same. These actions are especially important for older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
(e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).
CAN SOMEONE WHO HAS HAD COVID-19 SPREAD THE ILLNESS TO OTHERS?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others, even if they are not showing symptoms. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.
Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements:
The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.
Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.
CAN THE VIRUS THAT CAUSES COVID-19 BE SPREAD THROUGH FOOD, INCLUDING REFRIGERATED OR FROZEN FOOD?
Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.
In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at room temperature, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.
WHAT TEMPERATURE KILLS THE VIRUS THAT CAUSES COVID-19?
Generally coronaviruses survive for shorter periods of time at higher temperatures and higher humidity than in cooler or dryer environments. However, we don’t have direct data for this virus, nor do we have direct data for a temperature-based cutoff for inactivation at this point. The necessary temperature would also be based on the materials of the surface, the environment, etc. Regardless of temperature please follow CDC’s guidance for cleaning and disinfection.
WHO IS AT HIGHER RISK FOR SERIOUS ILLNESS FROM COVID-19?
Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. These people who may be at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness, includes:
According to the CDC, 8 out of 10 deaths reported in the U.S. have been in adults 65 years old and older.
People who have serious underlying medical conditions like:
Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
HIV or other immunocompromising conditions like cancer treatment
Heart disease with complications
People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [(BM]I)≥40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
NYS MATILDA’S LAW
Governor Cuomo announced “Matilda’s Law” – a guideline – to protect New Yorkers age 70+ and those with compromised immune systems.
Under the law, vulnerable New Yorkers are advised to:
•Go outside for solitary exercise
•Pre-screen all visitors by taking their temperature
•Wear a mask in the company of others
•Stay at least 6 feet from others
•Do not take public transportation unless urgent and absolutely necessary
HOW DO I MANAGING STRESS AND ANXIETY?
New York State is partnering with Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and meditation, to offer free meditation and mindfulness content for all New Yorkers as a mental health resource for residents coping with the unprecedented public health crisis. New Yorkers can access a collection of science-backed, evidence-based guided meditations, along with at-home mindful workouts, sleep and kids content to help address rising stress and anxiety at www.headspace.com/ny.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has led many individuals to feeling afraid, anxious and stressed. Here are some tips to help manage your stress and anxiety levels during this uncertain time.
•Manage your information flow by choosing reliable sources and establish boundaries on checking for updates.
•Help your school-aged child and adolescent set boundaries on their information flow in the same way you are setting your own boundaries.
•Assure your child that it is okay to feel scared or anxious.
•Practice good self-care by exercising, eating healthy foods, practicing mindfulness, sleeping enough at night and going outside when permittable.
•Seek peer support to stay connected so you have people who understand your experiences and can help you problem solve.
•Facilitate ways for you, your family members and friends to maintain social connections. This might include technological assistance or coordinating times with others to physically check in on vulnerable
•Call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.
If you experience significant changes in your energy level, eating patterns, or sleeping patterns, difficulty concentrating on normal tasks, prolonged and overwhelming worry and hopelessness, or thoughts of self-injury or suicide, seek immediate help at
1- 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Got5 to 741741.
AM I AT RISK FOR COVID-19 FROM A PACKAGE OR PRODUCTS SHIPPING FROM CHINA?
In general, because of poor survivability of coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.
ARE PREGNANT WOMEN MORE AT RISK FOR COVID-19?
Currently, there is not much research on the susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. As of 4/15/2020, the CDC is stating that “pregnant people seem to have the same risk as adults who are not pregnant.” The CDC cautions that pregnant people have changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections, and pregnant people have had a higher risk of severe illness when infected with viruses from the same family as COVID-19. Access this link for more information: CDC COVID-19 Pregnant Women Guidance. BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS AND COVID-19
It is not currently known if COVID-19 is transmitted from breastfeeding mothers to their children. See CDC COVID-19 Interim Guidance for Breastfeeding Women for more information.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF SOMEONE IN MY HOUSE GETS SICK WITH COVID-19?
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include, but not limited to:
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
New confusion or inability to arouse, Bluish lips or face
WHAT CLEANING PRODUCTS SHOULD I USE TO PROTECT AGAINST COVID-19?
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. Using one cap of bleach to a gallon of water will disinfect surfaces. Use a rag or spray bottle. If storing in clear bottle you must change solution daily. If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. See CDC’s recommendations for household cleaning and disinfection.
WHO IS AT HIGHER RISK FOR SERIOUS ILLNESS FROM COVID-19?
Based upon available information to date, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:
People aged 65 years and older
People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
Other high-risk conditions could include:
People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
People who have heart disease with complications
People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [(BM]I)≥40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk
ARE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AT HIGHER RISK?
Most people with disabilities are not inherently at higher risk for becoming infected with or having severe illness from COVID-19. People with certain disabilities might experience higher rates of chronic health conditions that put them at higher risk of serious illness and poorer outcomes from COVID-19.
Adults with disabilities are three times more likely to have heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer than adults without disabilities.
AM I AT RISK IF I GO TO A FUNERAL OR VISITATION SERVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO DIED OF COVID-19?
There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19.
RENSSELAER COUNTY COVID-19 CALL CENTER FAQS
I WAS TESTED. HOW CAN I GET MY RESULTS?
Call (518) 270-2659 Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm to receive results over the phone. Written copies (available only upon request) will be made available at 3rd floor security from 2 -4 pm, M-F only.
HOW CAN I GET MASKS, GLOVE AND/OR HAND SANITIZER?
Only available for healthcare agencies/entities (including funeral homes) by request to the Division of Public Safety . Send request to email@example.com .
HOW CAN I GET ANTIBODY TESTING?
NYS DOH is testing at local area supermarkets and pharmacies UNPLANNED AND AT RANDOM.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED AND HELP OUT BY VOLUNTEERING?
Volunteers must be registered members of the medical reserve corps (MRC). Medical background/training not required. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE WHO CAME INTO CONTACT WITH A POSITIVE COVID-19 PATIENT. DO THEY AND ANY OF THEIR CONTACTS NEED TO BE IN QUARANTINE?
Persons with direct contact to positive covid-19 individual should self-quarantine for 14 days. Anyone in contact with that person is considered a secondary exposure.
WHAT DO I DO IF I FEEL SICK?
Symptoms of coronavirus are—dry cough, fever of 100.4+, shortness of breath, aches/pains/fatigue. The CDC has also included “a new loss of taste or smell, chills, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat” as additional symptoms of COVID-19. (Less common symptoms are nausea and vomiting). Call your doctor. Do not go to an ER or urgent care facility. Public testing is available if you’re symptomatic, over 65, immune compromised, a healthcare or first responder. Call UAlbany at 1-888-364-3065 or the mobile testing unit at 518-465-4771 or contact your doctor to order a test for you.
WHAT IS TELEMEDICINE AND HOW DO I KNOW IF I CAN USE IT?
Those with CDPHP, MVP, United Healthcare and Blue Shield can take advantage of telemedicine options through their website or phone apps.
WHERE DO I CALL TO COMPLAIN IF I FEEL MY EMPLOYER IS UNFAIRLY INSISTING THAT I REPORT TO WORK? I’M NOT SURE IF I DON’T THINK I’M AN ESSENTIAL EMPLOYER.
Contact the Department of Labor at 518-457-9000 or the Attorney General’s office (212) 416-8700.
UNDER THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
Generally, employers covered under the Act must provide employees:
Employees of private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees, and certain public sector employers, are eligible for up to two weeks of fully or partially paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons (see below).
Employees who have been employed for at least 30 days prior to their leave request may be eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of partially paid expanded family and medical leave for reason #5 below.
QUALIFYING REASONS FOR LEAVE RELATED TO COVID-19
An employee is entitled to take leave related
1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
2. Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
3. Is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
4. Is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
5. is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons;
6. Is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
I WORK IN HEALTHCARE AND AM IN VOLUNTARY QUARANTINE AWAITING TEST RESULTS DUE TO BEING POSSIBLY EXPOSED TO A POSITIVE PATIENT. CAN MY EMPLOYER/SUPERVISOR INSIST I RETURN TO WORK?
Healthcare workers under quarantine awaiting test results can return to work after 7 days as long as they are asymptomatic. They must wear a mask, check their temperatures at beginning of shift and halfway through and be assigned to patients with the least risk.
WHERE DO I REPORT A REST A RESTAURANT OR OTHER FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT WHO’S NOT ABIDING BY THE “NO SEATED DINING” RULE?
We will notify our environmental/food permit unit and they will investigate and respond to any potential violations. Call 518-270-2717.