December 6, 2021

1 person in isolation at GCMC; 1 county family in self-quarantine

hand washing stock image

A person is being held in isolation at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center following concerns of coronavirus, the county’s public health director said this morning, and a Cortland County family is being self-quarantined for 14 days following a trip to a country with pronounced problems with COVID-19.

The Cortland County Public Health Department reports no known diagnosed cases of coronavirus in the county, but will ask residents returning from countries with reported disease to stay home for 14 days after they return. As of this morning, those countries are China, Italy, Iran and South Korea.

“There is much misinformation right now in the public forum,” said county Public Health Director Cathy Feuerherm. “And we want the public to know about the practical measures they can take to protect themselves and their families.”

The isolated person reported to the hospital Thursday night with a respiratory illness and following the latest federal guidelines, is being held in isolation pending test results, which should take a day or two, she said.

“Testing someone does not necessarily mean infection,” Feuerherm said. “We’re going to see more and more testing.”

Two Tompkins County residents were isolated in February after returning from Asia, but tests came back negative, the Tompkins County Health Department reported last month. Eight people in Onondaga County and two in Oneida County were tested Thursday, Feuerherm said.

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to reduce the risk of infection, or of spreading infection, Feuerherm said. Also:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your unwashed hands.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes using a tissue or the crook of your elbow.
  • Wash your hands after using a tissue to wipe your nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if sick. Consult your doctor.

“We want people to call their doctor, not show up at the emergency room,” seeking coronavirus tests, Feuerherm said. Hospitals in downstate New York are overwhelmed because people are seeking emergency care, first, rather than going to their doctors.