Rensselaer County Officials Working with State and Federal Officials on Coronavirus Issue

With confirmed cases of coronavirus in the nation and the state, Rensselaer County health officials took part in calls with the Centers for Disease Control and the New York State Department of Health regarding the issue.

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the county. Federal and state health officials have termed the spread of the illness nationally and in the state as “isolated” cases.

“We want residents to know that our team at the Health Department is monitoring this situation closely and working with state and federal officials to share information and get updates. However, there is no need for undue concern or worry,” said County Executive Steve McLaughlin.

“We have been informed that New York State remains at a low risk for coronavirus. While we are at a low risk, residents are advised to take simple but effective steps to reduce exposure to all communicable diseases,” said Public Health Director Maryfran Wachunas.

There are several things residents can do to limit exposure to the flu and other communicable diseases:

1. Follow CDC Travel guidelines and limit travel to affected areas;

2. Practice appropriate personal hygiene –wash your hands often;

3. If you are ill – practice respiratory etiquette- Cough and sneeze into the elbow or tissues, not directly into the air or your hands;

4. Voluntarily isolate yourself if you are sick – you won’t spread your illness if you remain home while ill- regardless of the respiratory illness. Keep in mind that even if you are somewhat resilient and have mild symptoms… those same symptoms could be much more severe in colleagues, coworkers and others you come in contact with;

5. If you have travel history or potential exposure based upon criteria set by the CDC contact your local health department and agree to a self-quarantine if deemed appropriate by the LHD;

6. Wipe down commonly used surfaces such as door knob, light switches, faucet knobs used by the public to limit exposures.

“Our Health Department is doing a solid job monitoring this situation and residents can be assured that we will be providing updates and news as needed,” said McLaughlin.