Oswego County Health Department Announces Changes to COVID-19 Case Investigations – Oswego County Today

Oswego County Health Department website logo.

OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Health Department will change its process for investigating Oswego County Health Department cases in response to changes to state health department support from New York.

The changes take effect Friday, April 29, and include stopping most individuals and refocusing efforts on vaccinations and outreach.

The Oswego County Health Department urges residents to follow these guidelines if they become ill or test positive with a home test kit or PCR test administered by a health care provider or pharmacy.

  • Please isolate yourself at home for five days. Day 1 begins the day AFTER symptoms start or a positive test result. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an online calculator to help you determine your period of isolation: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html
    • After isolation, if you do not have symptoms, continue to wear a properly fitted mask around others and in public for days six to ten.
    • If you still have symptoms, please continue to self-isolate.
  • Warn close contacts, especially those living in the same household, that they may have been exposed during your infectious period and should also follow quarantine guidelines from the Oswego County Health Department website : https://health.oswegocounty.com/COVID-19.
  • Let your health care provider know if you qualify for antiviral medications and other treatment options.
  • Access a self-affirmation form for employer and school documentation on the county health department website.
  • Use other resources located on this website or call the Oswego County COVID-19 Helpline at 315-349-3330 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Please note that if you test positive, you may receive a text message from the New York State Department of Health, but you will not receive a follow-up phone call.

“These changes in our priorities are in response to the increased transmissibility of the COVID-19 virus and the shortened periods of isolation and quarantine,” said Jennifer Purtell, nurse supervising public health in the Preventive Health Services Division. from the Oswego County Health Department. “As a result, case investigations and contact tracing have become less effective in stopping the spread of the virus among the general population.”

Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang added that the health department will investigate when clusters of cases and outbreaks in high-risk gathering places — such as schools and daycares — are found. reported.

“Due to these changes in the state system, it will be difficult to identify most clusters of cases as we have done in the past,” Huang said. “We therefore encourage residents, employers and facilities to contact the health department if they see an increase in cases in a particular area.”

Oswego County will now redirect its resources to focus on outreach and immunization – two tools that continue to have a substantial impact on keeping our community healthy and, at the same time, support community clusters and the response to epidemics.

Residents are asked to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including:

  • Get vaccinated and keep your COVID-19 vaccinations up to date.
  • Stay home if you are sick and keep your children home if they are sick.
  • Wear a properly fitted mask in public.
  • Stay six feet away from others.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Test to prevent spreading the virus to others
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Follow isolation and quarantine recommendations.

For more information, visit the Oswego County Health Department’s COVID-19 page at https://health.oswegocounty.com/COVID-19 or call its COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330. Callers may need to leave a message and a staff member will return the call.

Residents should also contact their medical providers directly for personal medical advice about COVID-19 and vaccinations or boosters.

For more information on emotional supports, visit the Mental Hygiene Division of the Oswego County Department of Social Services at www.oswegocounty.com/mentalhygiene.

Under New York State Public Health Law, the Oswego County Health Department is the local public health authority for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the county of Oswego. The Oswego County Health Department is working closely with the New York State Department of Health regarding COVID-19 surveillance, response, and reporting.