China travelers observed for virus

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WATERTOWN — An undisclosed number of individuals in Jefferson County are being monitored to see if they display symptoms of the novel coronavirus after having recently traveled to China.

The Jefferson County Public Health Service is currently monitoring individuals who are staying home for 14 days with daily monitoring from the local health department. They are not ill and have not been diagnosed with novel coronavirus, the health service said. Once 14 days have passed from the time they return to the United States from China, their unofficial quarantines will be lifted and the people will no longer need to minimize contact with the outside world.

The monitoring entails anything from visits by clinicians to telephone communications, with respiratory status and temperature being assessed daily, according to county health planner Steve A. Jennings.

“We want to assure the public that the department has practiced and prepared for these types of situations, and we have procedures in place to handle it,” Mr. Jennings said.

At this time, no individuals in Jefferson County have been diagnosed with the virus.

To date, more than 20 counties in New York state have been engaged through the state Department of Health regarding residents with recent travel histories that require monitoring.

The DOH has been receiving information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about international travelers residing in the state that currently need active monitoring for potential exposure to novel coronavirus after traveling to China.

As of Sunday, there were about 376 individuals being monitored by local health departments throughout the state. According to a release from the Jefferson County Public Health Service, it is anticipated that the numbers of people requiring monitoring will grow as most counties in the state will have residents who have traveled to China and are returning home.

County health departments are in daily communication with the state health department to track and monitor exposure, potential and possible disease transmission, and occurrence in the state.

The Jefferson County Public Health Service, working with the DOH and the CDC continues to advise individuals to:

· Obtain vaccination for the flu for everyone six months of age and older.

· Do their part to stop the spread of germs by washing hands often with soap and water, avoiding touching eyes, noses and mouths with unwashed hands, avoiding contact with sick people and staying home if sick.

The Jefferson County Public Health Service will continue to update the public regarding disease risk and status.

Visit https://www.jcphs.org to receive the most current, up-to-date information.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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