Ulster County records first presumptive positive COVID-19 case

The New York State Health Department has confirmed that an Ulster County resident has received a presumptive positive result for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Officials say that the person recently traveled internationally to France, and notified authorities that he had symptoms consistent with COVID-19. 

“We have been preparing for this contingency for the last several weeks and I am confident in our ability to respond quickly and comprehensively to ensure public health and safety,” said Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan in a statement. “As a first step, we are activating the Ulster County Emergency Operation Center as well as deploying Health Department staff to focus solely on community mitigation efforts. Public Health officials have already begun interviewing this individual to assess who he may have come into contact with and will notify those individuals. We will continue to update the public to ensure full transparency as the situation develops.”

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Any residents experiencing a fever, with a cough or shortness of breath is being asked to contact the Ulster County Health Department at 845-340-3150 or, if symptoms are severe, to call 9-1-1. 

Officials are also reminding residents to take steps to minimize and contain potential exposures, including:

  • Washing hands with soap and water frequently, for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating
  • Avoiding touching surfaces in public spaces, whenever possible
  • Avoiding touching eyes and mouth
  • Always covering a cough or sneeze with a tissue or a sleeve, rather than your hands and dispose of the tissue in the trash
  • Staying home if sick, except to seek medical attention, to avoid infecting others
  • Getting the flu shot if you have not done so already – it’s no too late
  • Helping to keep your immune system strong by getting enough sleep and reducing stress

The New York State Department of Health has established a Novel Coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to speak with a NYSDOH expert who will answer questions, Monday – Sunday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm. After hours, you may leave a voicemail that will be returned.

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