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Test positive or have contact with COVID positive person? Don’t wait for official guidance, quarantine immediately

Delays are a big challenge in the fight to contain the Coronavirus Pandemic. Especially in rural communities where staffing at public health departments has been a concern.

On Tuesday, public health officials in Ontario County clarified what residents should do if they test positive.


“There is a delay between when some people find out they have a positive COVID test result,” the health department explained in a post. There’s also a delay due to staffing challenges, which means hours, or perhaps even a day could pass between the test coming back positive – and contact tracers connecting with the individual.

The delay is even longer for those who came into contact with those who test positive.

“We have more nurses and staff but, WE NEED YOUR HELP,” the department wrote on Tuesday.


Here’s what officials there say to do:

If positive for COVID-19 isolate and tell close contacts and household members to quarantine. “This helps limit the spread of the disease,” officials wrote. “Fill out the NYS Contact Tracing Tool to help you identify contacts.”

This simple action helps take a big burden off public health workers who are going around the clock to keep residents safe and healthy.

“This is a HUGE help to our staff,” they continued. “Individuals who have been told of a positive COVID test result by their physician, pharmacy, health care facility or laboratory must ISOLATE for 10 days past the onset of symptoms or 10 days past the date of their positive test sample collection (if no symptoms).”



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