Coronavirus is spreading at alarming numbers throughout New York State, including in Putnam County.
The county’s Health Department reported Tuesday that 82 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, a dramatic increase from the two cases reported just a week ago.
Over the weekend, numbers spiraled with 19 new cases reported on Saturday, eight on Sunday, seven more cases confirmed on Monday and a whopping 36 new cases confirmed yesterday (Tuesday).
Commissioner of Health Dr. Michael Nesheiwat reported positive cases of the virus have been found in each of Putnam’s six towns.
“The individuals have been quarantined and will continue to be monitored carefully. Our communicable disease staff is interviewing these individuals to learn about their movements and identify all close contacts. Contact tracing then begins, which includes asking for a detailed history of where they have traveled, worked, shopped, and more. On the basis of these answers, communicable disease staff will compile a list of people who may have been potentially exposed. Staff then will contact each of these people to explain their risk. Regular communication and monitoring for symptoms of the disease continue for these contacts,” he said.
Dr. Nesheiwat predicted more and more residents will test positive for the disease as testing for COVID-19 has become more available.
Dr. Nesheiwat urged the public to “stay home. We must focus our resources on slowing the spread and flattening the curve in addition to not overwhelming our healthcare system including emergency services. By remaining at home, you can be part of the solution.”
County Executive MaryEllen Odell commended health department staff as well as community partners for their tireless efforts but she also encouraged the public to “do its part. We have many heroes helping our residents including EMS and healthcare workers who are on the front line. Neighbors are working to keep essential services such as markets, pharmacies and utilities up and running. I want the rest of Putnam’s population to also become heroes. Staying home right now is the best way we can help save lives. Be a hero. Stay home!”
Resources are available to get answers for important questions related to COVID-19.
The United Way of Putnam and Westchester is offering a 2-1-1 hotline where up-to-date information is available from 8 am to 10 pm seven days a week.
Putnam Hospital Center has created a COVID-19 hotline. Nurses are answering questions seven days a week from 8 am to 6 pm by calling 888-667-9262.
The New York State Health Department hotline is also available. Residents may call 888-364-3065, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Those experiencing shortness of breath and in need of emergency immediate medical assistance should call 9-1-1 while informing the dispatcher of exposure risk to coronavirus.
NOTE: This story has been updated with new numbers from Wednesday afternoon.