The last couple of weeks have been challenging in Tioga County, N.Y. as the number of coronavirus cases spiked, causing portions of the county, specifically the Waverly area, to be placed in a Cluster Focus Zone by New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo. And with Thanksgiving just days away, restrictions have also been tightened across the state.
As part of these restrictions, Governor Cuomo has put a limit of 10 people on private social gatherings at someone’s private residence; this restriction is statewide – regardless of where you live in the state or if you are in or out of a zone.
“Gatherings” in the context of an event taking place in a catering hall or other type of event space remains capped at 25 people in a Yellow Zone, or 50 people anywhere not placed under a zone designation.
The most updated Cluster Action Initiative information has been posted at https://forward.ny.gov/cluster-action-initiative.
As of Nov. 13, there were 285 active COVID cases in Tioga County, 640 in mandatory quarantine, and 46 total fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic. By the time of this reporting on Friday morning, Nov. 20, the active cases dropped by 53.
Unfortunately, however, the number of fatalities from COVID related complications rose by eight since last Friday, bringing the total number to 54.
In the meantime, lawmakers continue to urge caution as the Public Health Department works to bring the numbers down within the county.
On Thursday the county also hit a milestone, with 1,003 coronavirus cases now confirmed since the beginning of the pandemic.
As for contact tracing, Public Health issued several notifications throughout the week, advising residents to watch for symptoms after tracing revealed potential exposure.
Sites that individuals visited prior to testing positive for the coronavirus, and while they were experiencing symptoms or were asymptomatic but in their infectious period include Visions Federal Credit Union in Owego on Nov. 13 from 11:45 a.m. to noon, at The Owego Kitchen on Nov. 13 from noon to 2 p.m., Target in Vestal on Nov. 13 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., Tops in Owego on Nov. 13 from 3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., and Donoli’s Restaurant on Nov. 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Nov. 12 from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Tioga County’s Public Health Department is recommending that anyone that was at any of these locations during the times specified monitor for symptoms.
For further information, you can also refer to the following resources: https://covid19.tiogacountyny.com, the Tioga County Coronavirus Response Hotline at 687-8225, Facebook @Tioga County Public Health, Facebook @TiogaMH (Tioga County Department of Mental Hygiene), the Tioga County Public Health Voicemail Line at 687-8623, the New York State Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 (for general questions or information about COVID-19), and the Tioga County Emergency Food Hotline at (607) 354-0965.