Brewster, NY- With the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declaring the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) a public health emergency, the Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) wants to assure residents that at this time there are no known cases of the novel coronavirus in Putnam. The risk to the general public remains low. Should the risk of exposure to this virus increase, county officials are prepared to respond.
“When it comes to emergency preparedness, our county and community partners consistently work together to ensure our residents remain safe. Regarding this particular health risk, our Bureau of Emergency Services, law enforcement and health department remain up-to-date regarding the latest developments and they maintain communication with Putnam Hospital Center as well as other local health care providers,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell.
Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, M.D. also reminds everyone that, “While novel coronavirus can cause severe illness, it is not an immediate health concern for Putnam residents. However, if there were a case, residents would hear about it directly from the department of health. We are in daily contact with both the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We update our protocols under their direct guidance based on the most up-to-date developments.”
Testing for this new type of coronavirus is performed in cooperation with both the local and state departments of health. Both the PCDOH and the NYSDOH continue to work together to keep residents informed. For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus, visit https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/.
“Remember that the best way to prevent the spread of viruses is avoid exposure and to practice hand hygiene. The influenza virus continues to be widespread in our area, and it is not too late to get a flu vaccine,” continues Dr. Nesheiwat. Health officials continue to recommend everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- 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. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.
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