WATERTOWN — Jefferson County public health announced Tuesday that it will no longer list the places where people may have been exposed to COVID-19.
Jefferson County has joined St. Lawrence County in deciding to no longer release COVID-19 exposure sites to the public.
“The disease is everywhere,” said Stephen A. Jennings, Jefferson County public health planner. “It doesn’t matter where you go.”
Mr. Jennings said he’s not telling people not to go out, he just wants people to know they are at risk whenever they do, and they should be hyper-vigilant in protecting themselves.
There were 162 known active virus cases isolated in Jefferson County on Monday, as well as four people hospitalized with the virus. More than 1,000 are on mandatory quarantine, highlighting the wide exposure of the virus.
Mr. Jennings said there has been a significant increase in spread between family members at home. They are getting out of the cold and staying inside without masks, but, often times, that spread would stop at those families, he said. Once others are introduced to the home, that’s where it becomes more of a risk, which is why the Jefferson County Public Health Service is predicting a further increase in cases after Thanksgiving.
But above all, Jefferson County is continuing to contact trace, and they’re going to continue to push mask wearing, social distancing, not gathering in large groups and staying home when sick.
“It’s not information that is useful for people,” Mr. Jennings said of exposure sites. “Whenever you go out, you are at risk. That is our message.”