Contact tracing information available for initial positive cases
Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton on Saturday said that, since Friday night, the county has received five new positive test results from the New York State Department of Health.
It is believed all new cases were via community spread.
As of this morning, Niagara County now has nine positive results, 61 people quarantined, 10 in isolation and five pending test results.
“This shows how rapidly the situation changes. As of 5 p.m. yesterday, we had not received any new positives from DOH and, within a couple of hours, we had five,” Stapleton said. “I have heard some say that our numbers are merely a function of our testing and if we could do testing at the rate we would like, there would be many, many more positives. To that, I say, I absolutely agree. The community needs to act as if COVID-19 is everywhere because, in all likelihood, it is.”
The five new positives are:
(Note: these four North Tonawanda cases have no apparent connection to each other)
Stapleton also released contact tracing information for the previous positive cases that the county was already investigating. This means the times and locations these folks were several days prior to showing symptoms.
This information is not related to the five new positive results.
“In these cases, the length of time that has passed and the fact these individuals self-quarantined quickly after feeling symptomatic worked in our favor,” Stapleton said. “Plus, we have unique circumstances in which some positives were mainly in health care facilities or in their homes for non-COVID-19-related issues. We reviewed these findings with the New York State Department of Health and they determined the chance of community spread from these individuals is minimal.
“But that is not meant to make the public take this any less lightly. As we see today with five new positives, the virus is continuing to spread and will continue.”
The contact information at this point:
“Again, DOH has said there is essentially no additional risk from having been at any of these places. You do not need to take any actions. For anyone at all who begins to feel ill, contact your primary health care provider,” Stapleton said. “I want to reiterate that I fully recognize the public wants as much information as possible as soon as possible. The Niagara County Department of Health has around 10 public health nurses who are working tirelessly on quarantining those who were in close, regular contact with these individuals, because that is the key to reducing community spread. They are checking on both those who are quarantined and those who are ill. That is our priority. We have deployed virtually all other staff to support them in all things related to COVID-19.
“Within the parameters of applicable privacy laws, we will be as transparent as possible and get you information as soon as we can. As COVID-19 becomes more widespread, community tracing is of little clinical value and will probably not continue.
“Remember, the best approach to protecting yourself is to stay home.”