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Fulton County has first case of virus

JOHNSTOWN — State and Fulton County authorities on Thursday confirmed that Fulton County has its first positive case of coronavirus, who is in self-quarantine.

The state Department of Health confirmed the county now has one case. It was also confirmed by Fulton County Emergency Management Director Steven Santa Maria and Fulton County Public Health Director Laurel Headwell.

“We have been informed by the Fulton County Public Health Department that there is one confirmed case,” Santa Maria said.

Santa Maria said that due to New York state HIPAA privacy rules, he can’t say whether the confirmed case is a male or female or what municipality they reside. He said the emergency apparatus in Fulton County continues to do its job.

“So far, emergency services are still responding to all calls,” he said.

Santa Maria was asked how first responders are handling calls coming in close proximity to people. He said they are following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandates.

“They should wear protective masks on each and every call,” he said. “We’re working through the state with our state contacts.”

Montgomery County has been reporting two positive coronavirus cases.

The latest on the state level is that Cuomo is telling businesses they must reduce employees on site by 75 percent. Cuomo signed the bill guaranteeing job protection and pay for New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of novel coronavirus. He will issue an executive order directing non-essential businesses to implement work-from-home policies effective today.

Businesses that rely on in-office personnel must decrease their in-office workforce. Exemptions from the order will include shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions.

Headwell issued an update Thursday indicating Fulton County Public Health is closely monitoring the spread of coronavirus and Thursday has confirmed one case of COVID-19 in Fulton County. The infected individual is self-quarantined and receiving support as needed from the county

“We encourage all residents to be diligent about staying home if you are not feeling well or are experiencing flu like symptoms,” Headwell said.

She said Fulton County residents should continue to take simple actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses by practicing non pharmaceutical interventions such as:

∫ Avoiding close contact with people who are sick

∫ Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60 percent alcohol) if soap and water are not available

∫ Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash

∫ Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces.

Information regarding the coronavirus COVID-19 can be found by visiting fultoncountyny.gov/covid-19 and/or cdc.gov.

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