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Seneca County has first confirmed case of COVID-19

The Seneca County Health Department says it has its first confirmed case of the Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19.

A Seneca County resident tested positive for the virus. The person was being isolated and monitored by health officials, according to a press release.

Health Department staff is currently identifying close contacts of the confirmed case and any exposure risks. Close contacts that are identified will be notified of their exposure by the Seneca County Health Department and will be quarantined and monitored for symptoms.

Vickie Swinehart, Director of Public Health confirmed the information. “We have anticipated and planned for our first positive case of COVID-19,” she said. “This was not unexpected as every other county across the state has reported positive cases to date.”

“Now that we do have a confirmed case it is even more imperative that all of our residents do their part and practice social distancing to help slow the spread of the virus in our community and only go out if absolutely necessary,” Swinehart added. “If you have to leave your home, please maintain 6ft of distance between yourself and others. A positive case does not mean we should panic, but it is the time to stay home, to be vigilant of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, to wash your hands frequently and to disinfect frequently touched surfaces.”

Swinehart says that individuals who are experiencing mild symptoms should treat those at home with over the counter medications and should contact their healthcare providers if symptoms worsen. Those symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

County Manager Mitch Rowe said that NYS Department of Health guidance would be followed. “We will not be releasing de-identifying information such as town of residence of those who test positive for COVID-19,” he said. “We are all in this together.”

Click here for full-coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Finger Lakes.