New York State Department of Health has criteria in place for county health departments to determine who to place into quarantine and isolation, as well as when these individuals may be released from quarantine and isolation. Madison County Health Department (MCDOH) follows the New York State guidelines to conduct disease investigations and issue orders for quarantine and isolation. As of May 10, 2020, 189 Madison County residents have recovered from COVID-19 and have been released from isolation.
Only residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 are issued an order for isolation. This means they must isolate in a room away from other members of the residence who have not tested positive. They are instructed that they should use a separate bathroom if possible, wear a face mask and avoid contact with other household members if they must leave their room, and food should be delivered outside their door. Because they have the disease, the goal is for them to not give it to anyone else.
MCDOH is aware of where the resident has chosen to isolate. The department also helps anyone who has trouble finding a place to isolate find a suitable location. MCDOH monitors their symptoms daily to determine when they may be released from isolation. The date they were tested and onset of symptoms are also factors taken into consideration for the length the patient must be isolated. Once MCDOH releases a COVID-19 patient who has recovered from isolation, they are free to come and go just like any other resident, while still advised to practice social distancing and wear a face covering when in public.
When a resident is tested for COVID-19, they are asked to quarantine by their healthcare provider until they receive their test result. If the test comes back negative, they are notified by their healthcare provider and no longer need to quarantine. If the test comes back positive, they are notified by their healthcare provider and MCDOH conducts an investigation and issues an order for isolation
Essential workers who are tested and who do not have symptoms are allowed to go to work, if their employer deems them necessary, until their test result comes back. They must go directly to and from work, and they must quarantine themselves when they are not at work. This means they are not allowed to go to the store or any other locations outside of work until their test result comes back.
When someone is placed in quarantine, they are not confirmed as positive for COVID-19, nor do they have symptoms of COVID-19. The purpose of quarantining contacts of positive COVID-19 cases is for MCDOH to monitor them to see if they develop symptoms of the disease. Only the Madison County Health Department Public Health Director or the Madison County Board of Health can issue an order for an individual to be placed in or released from quarantine or isolation. “Our department has issued almost 850 orders for isolation and quarantine to Madison County residents to date,” said Madison County Public Health Director, Eric Faisst.
The purpose of informing the general public of public places that someone who was recently confirmed positive for COVID-19 is to let anyone who was in that location on the date and time know they should monitor themselves for developing symptoms of COVID-19. “Community members who are practicing social distancing, wearing a face covering over their nose and mouth, and washing their hands directly after being out in public have a low-risk of contracting COVID-19 from another community member who is also social distancing and wearing a face covering in public,” said Faisst. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have a concern about your health, contact your healthcare provider.
If you must go out, be sure to stay at least 6 feet away from others at all times and wear a face covering. Please remember to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer before you touch your face.
For more information, visit https://www.madisoncounty.ny.gov/2479/Coronavirus-COVID-19 or call the Madison County non-medical COVID-19 Hotline at 315-366-2770 Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.