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Swinehart: All communities in Seneca County are at risk for COVID-19 exposure

Seneca County will not share geographic information related to COVID-19 cases. While some counties have gone that route, officials noted on Friday that they will not.

That was the message conveyed in a press release on Friday. It highlighted the growing anxiety in the region – as rural communities go without widespread testing.

“We understand there is a lot of anxiety about not knowing where cases reside or where cases may have been in our community,” Public Health Director Vickie Swinehart said. “We do not want to convey the message that one community is safer than another because all of our communities are at risk for COVID-19 exposure.”

The virus can be transmitted by individuals who are asymptomatic, which is to say that even though a person may appear healthy – there’s the chance that they are carriers of COVID-19.

“The best course of action is to limit our time in public places, to have a purpose for being out which should only be to obtain essential supplies and to go to work if you are an essential employee but to be vigilant about staying at least 6 ft. apart from others when in public,” Swinehart continued. “Our staff actively conducts contact investigations to identify close contacts of individuals confirmed with COVID-19. Close and/or proximate contacts are identified and notified of their exposure by the Seneca County Health Department. These contacts are then issued an order of quarantine and are actively monitored for symptoms.”

At this time there are five confirmed cases of COVID-19, and over 100 tests have been completed.

“We must be kind and understanding to one another and to remember that we are all in this together,” she added. It is imperative that in order for us to stay safe, and to stay health, we must stay home.”

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