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COVID update given

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County Public Health Director Laurel Headwell on Tuesday provided county officials with a general update on the local COVID-19 situation, indicating five acute “active” cases in the county this week.

In her monthly report to the Board of Supervisors’ Human Services Committee, Headwell gave up-to-date COVID information for Fulton County, as of Monday.

She said the county has had 344 positive cases since the pandemic began. She said the county currently has one “presumptive” case, and five “active” cases — people who tested positive for coronavirus currently “under isolation.”

Headwell said Fulton County has had 304 recovered cases of COVID-19. Thirty-six people in the county have passed away from the deadly disease.

A total of 18,997 COVID-19 tests have been given to county residents.

Headwell educated the committee on some of the terms she was using, such as recovered — meaning the patients are no longer being monitored. Those under quarantine are still being monitored, and contact tracing goes on every day until 8 p.m. She said there is even an app now by which people in a contact tracing mode can answer questions back regarding their personal COVID situations.

“A Fulton County resident can be tested anywhere,” Headwell said.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead told supervisors that the many county government employees have “done a yeoman’s job” during the pandemic.

“They’ve gone back to work,” Stead said. “They’ve done their jobs. They’re put their noses to the grindstone.”

The rest of Headwell’s report dealt with how Fulton County’s school districts are handling COVID-19, especially since the start of the school year.

Two cases of COVID have been reported — one at the BOCES Meco Academy and one at Park Terrace Elementary School in Gloversville.

Headwell said those situations were contained quickly.

Stead said those two cases involved people contracting COVID from the same person, who actually resides outside Fulton County.

With the schools, Headwell said the county Public Health Department hasn’t told them “directly” what to do, but providing general guidance. She said there can be conflicting information on the state level.

“That has created some issues,” she said.

She said the school districts have still been working out how to educate their students – in-person, virtually through remote means, a hybrid model.

“I think they’ve done a phenomenal job,” Headwell said of Fulton County’s districts.

The county Health Department, she said, has been meeting with BOCES, all the superintendents, and school nurses throughout the county. She said county nurses have been training school nurses in PPE, providing N95 masks and giving the best ways to put on and take off gowns.

“Our staff gets calls almost every day from the schools,” Headwell said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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