OSWEGO — The Oswego County Health Department is investigating a potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus at an Oswego business.
An employee of Fajita Grill at 244 W. Seneca St. in Oswego has tested positive for the coronavirus. People who visited the restaurant on Tuesday, Sept. 8 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. may have been exposed.
Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said anyone who visited the restaurant during that time should monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after their visit, until Sept. 22. Symptoms include fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, or gastrointestinal illness.
People experiencing symptoms should stay home and call their health care provider or the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 hotline weekdays at 315-349-3330 for further guidance. People should not go to emergency departments unless they are experiencing life-threatening symptoms.
The Oswego County Health Department is working closely with Fajita Grill to notify all known contacts of the infected individuals.
“This is being made public because our investigation shows there is a possibility of exposure to members of the public whom we could not track down,” said Huang. “This is consistent with our policy of notifying the public when investigations of positive cases determine there is a possibility that people who couldn’t be identified and contacted may have become exposed.”
The restaurant has been limiting service capacity to under 50% following New York state guidelines. “We’re thinking of our co-worker today, as well as all of our employees and customers,” said Josh Molinari, managing member of Fajita Grill, Oswego. “We are doing everything we can to protect them, including rigorous cleaning and sanitation. We continue to work with the Oswego County Health Department and are following their guidance as well as the CDC’s protocols.”
During the past two weeks, the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases reported at SUNY Oswego has risen to 80 as students have been returning for the fall semester. As of Thursday, Sept. 10, there are 126 SUNY Oswego students in quarantine; 64 on campus and 62 off campus.
The Oswego County Health Department urges Oswego city and town residents to take extra preventive measures as many students are living in these communities. Huang said, “Oswego County considers SUNY Oswego a part of our larger community and welcomes these students back to live among us. However, as the disease keeps spreading, both on and off campus students and residents in surrounding communities are encouraged to take extra efforts to contain the disease.”
Huang said it is imperative to wear a face covering, practice diligent handwashing and social distancing and take personal responsibility for preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup also encourages residents to take every necessary precaution. He said, “This disease is everywhere. Social distancing and other personal protection measures will help reduce the spread of the virus and limit your chance of exposure. If we don’t all do our part, it will continue to spread.”
Residents are asked to continue monitoring reliable sources of information. Go to oswegocounty.com or health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19 for the latest news releases, daily updates and video presentations. For more information, go to cdc.gov.
Additional questions can be directed to the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information about emotional supports, visit the Oswego County Department of Social Services Division of Mental Hygiene at www.oswegocounty.com/mentalhygiene.
Under New York State Public Health Law, the Oswego County Health Department is the sole local public health authority regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response over all persons and entities within the County of Oswego. The Oswego County Health Department works closely with New York State Department of Health regarding COVID-19 monitoring, response and reporting.