Officials in Plattsburgh respond to Clinton County’s first case of coronavirus


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Clinton County announced its first positive case of the coronavirus Monday. The patient in his 70s is recovering at UVM Health Network-CVPH.

“I’m being told he is stable and actually improving,” said Dr. Keith Collins, an infectious disease physician at CVPH.

Doctors say the virus is on an upswing and they expect more cases in the region.

“We’re reaching the point now where if someone has a fever or cough, they just need to self isolate at this point,” Dr. Collins said.

CVPH staff say test kits are extremely limited, so health officials have stopped testing people who don’t require hospitalization in an effort to save tests for those who really need them, such as the elderly. Dr. Collins said since there’s no effective treatment for COVID-19, testing won’t change your outcome and your best bet is to recover at home.

“That’s how you’re gonna stop this, not testing it to death,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Colin Read declared a State of Emergency in the city Monday, shutting down restaurants, gyms, and causing the city to reconfigure its workforce, with many employees working from home.

“We’ve been able to do that without really curtailing any of the various services or access to democracy,” said Mayor Read. “It means asking for some flexibility in doing things a little bit differently.”

Despite the city’s measures and encouragement of social distancing, leaders at CVPH say they’re bracing for things to worsen with currently only 14 available beds in the ICU.

“We’re preparing for all scenarios, we;re preparing for surge capacity in multiple sites and we’re preparing for putting structures together if we ever get to the way Italy gets.”

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