Tioga County COVID update for May 11, 2022  

Tioga County Public Health continues to monitor the spread and severity of COVID-19 infections within the community. While many may be concerned over the media reports of COVID-19 infections continuing to rise, the health department wants to remind residents that the main focus should be on hospitalizations and deaths, as these numbers are a better indicator of the true impact that COVID-19 is having on the community. The widespread availability of vaccinations and treatment options has undoubtedly helped prevent severe cases of COVID-19 infections, according to the department. 

Although there continues to be a large focus on COVID-19, the health department encourages everyone to be mindful of the number of cases of the seasonal flu that are being seen this year. While it is not abnormal to see a flu season continue through the month of May, we are seeing higher than usual activity for this time of the year. Influenza cases typically peak during the months of January (89 confirmed cases) and February (18 confirmed cases); however, the flu cases did not peak until April this year, with 109 confirmed cases. 

While COVID-19 cases may seem high, severe cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations remain low during this time, the department added, stating, “Our team will continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19 in our community. Everyone should be taking precautions to best protect themselves and their family to reduce the risk from COVID-19 and influenza.”

Some recommendations are as follows.

Get vaccinated – it’s not too late to get your annual flu shot or your COVID-19 vaccination; get your COVID-19 booster shot(s) once you are eligible.

Stay home if you are not feeling well, and contact your primary care provider if you have concerns over your symptoms.  

Wash your hands and disinfect frequently touched objects.

Consider wearing a mask while indoors or in areas where it is difficult to socially distance from others.

Opt for outdoor gatherings.

Prioritize other health factors like eating nutritious foods, getting plenty of sleep, and staying physically active.  

At this point in the pandemic, individuals should take the precautions that they feel are best for themselves and their families; however, the department continues to encourage individuals who are not feeling well to stay home. If you must leave your home, the department noted, please respectfully wear a mask while around others to avoid spreading any illness.  

Free at-home COVID-19 tests continue to be available across Tioga County. For a full listing of sites distributing test kits, visit https://tiogacountyny.gov/departments/public-health/. If you test positive for COVID-19, please follow New York State’s Isolation Guidelines, and contact your primary care provider within the first few days of developing symptoms or testing positive for the virus to discuss whether treatment options are right for you. 

To view updated data on COVID-19 from the New York State Department of Health on COVID-19 testing, cases, variants, hospitalizations and fatalities, and vaccinations, Long Term Care Facilities and schools, visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-data-new-york.

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