ELIZABETHTOWN, NY – Officials in Essex County New York have confirmed their first case of the novel coronavirus. The Essex County resident went to Adirondack Health Medical Center on Friday.
At this time we don’t know much about the patient who tested positive. At this time, Adirondack Health officials say they have administered 21 tests with one being positive, two negative and the rest pending.
According to the Essex County Health Department, that patient is quarantined at their home.
“They’ve never left their home and it is my understanding that the patient is improving,” said Director of Public Health Linda Beers
On Wednesday Essex County Health Department, Essex County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, and local healthcare representatives from the University of Vermont Health Network – Elizabethtown Community Hospital, Hudson Headwaters Health Network, and Adirondack Health wanted to make sure the community was informed.
Most Health Organizations said they have been preparing for the pandemic for weeks now.
“We regularly drill prepare and look for resources for a variety of different things including a surge and infectious outbreaks,” said President and CEO of Adirondack Health Sylvia Getman.
Getman explained that the individual came through the emergency department on Friday. Since then the patient has self-isolated and was at home when test results came back positive on Tuesday.
“We had all the appropriate protective gear with all the staff that interacted with that individual,” said Getman.
Health networks say they are following necessary guidelines, but like most small hospitals, they are concerned about protective equipment.
“We do have an adequate amount of supplies now but that is something that’s strained and constrained at local, state, and quite frankly national level as well,” said Getman.
Elizabethtown community hospital said it’s developed a system to work with their colleagues and partners at UVM Health Network to provide appropriate testing.
“More importantly gearing up our system for the possibility that this could be much bigger in terms of the influx of ill patients,” said Director of Emergency Department at ECH Dr. David Clauss.
However, officials say it is up to the public to turn this around.
“This is the time where social distancing can have the most effect,” said Dr. Clauss.
“Everybody has a part in the battle against COVID-19. At the town levels we have taken a look and we’ve gone down to 50% of splitting shifts and having people work from home,” chairman of Essex county bos and board of health chairman of Essex county BOS and board of Shaun Gilliland.