The Putnam Health Department announced late Monday afternoon there were seven more people confirmed to have tested positive for coronavirus in the county, lifting the total to 46, with the number as low as two as recently as March 16.
Of course, the amount of confirmed cases can be misleading, given the unknown number of people walking around with the virus unbeknownst to them, let alone the symptomatic people who want to get tested but are being turned away.
The county is now characterizing the virus as “widespread,” noting there are people in every town in Putnam who have tested positive for the virus.
“While this is not the news people want to hear, it is not surprising and we have been preparing for this eventuality,” Putnam Health Commissioner Dr. Michael J. Nesheiwat stated in a Sunday press release. “With more testing we will find more residents who test positive for this contagious disease. Why does this matter? It matters because we can now focus time and resources on slowing the spread and flattening the curve.”
Given that so many people without symptoms are carrying the virus, it is critical for residents to consider how their behavior might impact others, health experts explain.
It’s vital for people to avoid overtaxing the local healthcare system and emergency responders, Nesheiwat noted, also stressing that residents can be “part of the solution” by staying home.
Because COVID-19 is evolving rapidly, the Health Department is continuing to update its digital platforms, including the organization’s website, www.putnamcountyny.com/health/coronavirus.
“We all have neighbors that are working to keep our essential services, like markets, pharmacies and utilities up and running,” County Executive MaryEllen Odell stated. “We also probably know someone that, if infected, will need serious medical care. For many of us, staying home right now is the one way we can help save lives. Be a hero. Stay home.”