Livingston County reminds residents of importance of public health orders

Staff Writer
The Dansville Online

GENESEO — As the fall season quickly approaches, Livingston County officials remind residents to follow public health orders amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

“Residents have a moral and legal responsibility to adhere to guidance and restrictions,” commented Chairman of the Livingston County Board of Supervisors, David L. LeFeber. “With a slight uptick in positive cases over the last few weeks and schools reopening, we want to reinforce the critical importance of isolation and quarantine and the necessity of resident buy-in and compliance in this process. For us to be successful as a county in this gradual reopening process, we must be smart, civic-minded and prudent.”

Individualized legal orders to isolate and quarantine due to COVID-19 are issued under the local Public Health Officer’s authority to limit the spread of communicable disease. Jennifer Rodriguez, Livingston County Public Health Director, is the designated Public Health Officer in Livingston County.

“To truly flatten the curve, it is critical for all residents to fully comply with these Orders and due their part to protect public health in their own community,” said Rodriguez.

Isolation is a critical component of reducing the spread of COVID-19 by separating sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Close contacts to persons with COVID-19 are defined as individuals who:

· Live in or have stayed at the positive case’s residence; or

· Are determined, by the County’s disease control program through contact tracing, to be persons requiring quarantine.

It is important to distinguish that the contact has to have occurred while the positive case was determined to be infectious. A case is infectious from 48 hours before an affected individual's symptoms began and until the individual is released from isolation.

While these orders are, of course, important and valuable in the protection of public health, they also carry the weight of law. Those breaking quarantine and isolation can face fines up to $10,000.

“Yes, you might be a confirmed positive but feel fine. Yes, your close contacts might feel fine and also be asymptomatic. But remember, those with underlying health conditions and those that are elderly are very susceptible to the damaging impacts of this virus. Cavalier and care-free attitudes of those with positive test results are placing those vulnerable populations at risk. Please continue to do your part to help slow the spread,” concluded Rodriguez.

For more information on isolation and quarantine protocols, contact the Livingston County Department of Health at 585-243-7270.