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April 28, 2022 - 12:48pm
posted by Press Release in health, health department, news.

Press release:

According to the 2022 County Health Rankings, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI) Genesee and Orleans Counties rank 38th and 54th respectively in overall Health Outcomes.  The Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

“As Chief Health Strategists, we use the County Health Rankings to help us identify factors that are important for residents to live long and healthy lives and understand how we compare to other counties in the state.  With this knowledge, we work collaboratively with our partners to improve the health of our community,” stated Paul Pettit, Director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health).  “The county with the lowest score (best health) gets a rank of #1 for that state and the county with the highest score (worst health) is assigned a rank corresponding to the number of total counties ranked in each state.  New York State has 62 counties.”

The rankings are broken into to two main categories, Health Outcomes, which include the length of life and quality of life, and Health Factors which include health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment. 

The 2022 County Health Rankings findings are:

  • Genesee County ranked 38 in Health Outcomes and 16 in Health Factors in 2022 as compared to 43 out of 62 counties for Health Outcomes in 2021, a decrease in rank as compared to 2022 and 28 in Health Factors a decrease from 2021. 
  • Orleans County ranked 54 in Health Outcomes and 55 in Health Factors in 2022 as compared to 60 in Health Outcomes in 2021, a decrease in rank as compared to 2022 and 53 in Health Factors an increase in rank from 2021. 

 “The County Health Rankings show us that where people live plays a key role in how long and how well they live,” stated Pettit. “The Rankings allow local leaders to clearly see and prioritize the challenges they face — whether it’s rising premature death rates or the growing drug overdose epidemic — so they can bring community leaders and residents together to find solutions.”

According to the 2022 Rankings, the five healthiest counties in New York State starting with most healthy are Putnam, followed by Tompkins, Saratoga, Nassau, and New York. The five counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy are Bronx, Sullivan, Cattaraugus, Montgomery, and Chemung.   

“The County Health Rankings show how Genesee and Orleans Counties rank on factors that influence its overall health ranking,” said Pettit. “For example, Genesee County had a decrease in preventable hospital stays from 4,748 in 2021 to 3,354 in 2022. Genesee County also had a decrease in adults smoking from 23% in 2021 to 19% in 2022.   Orleans County had a decrease in the percentage of adults who smoked from 25% in 2021 to 21% in 2022. Additionally, Orleans County had a decrease in the percentage of adult obesity from 37% to 32%.”

Even with the above mentioned positive trends, both counties continue to have challenge areas and are still struggling with health factors specifically with obesity (Genesee – 33% / Orleans – 32%), adult smoking (Genesee – 19% / Orleans – 21%), and local access to clinical care for primary care physicians, dentists and mental health providers.  Although the numbers for adult smoking did decrease for both counties, we are still above the top U.S Performers at 15% and New York State at 13%. 

The Rankings have become an important tool for communities that want to improve health for all.  Working collaboratively with community partners in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties (GOW), Genesee and Orleans counties are currently working on the GOW 2022-2024 Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan to determine the New York State Prevention Agenda priorities to focus on over the next three years.  We analyze the Rankings along with New York State data and community input from the Community Health Assessment survey and Community Conversations with various community groups and county residents.  If you have not completed a survey you can access the English survey online here or the Spanish survey online here.

For information on Health Department services contact,

  • Genesee County Health Department at: 344-2580 ext. 5555 or visit their website at www.GOHealthNY.org.  Visit Facebook and Twitter at GOHealthNY for both.
  • Orleans County Health Department at: 589-3278 or check out their website at:  www.GOHealthNY.org.  Visit Facebook and Twitter at GOHealthNY for both.
April 27, 2022 - 10:59pm
posted by Press Release in Tobacco-free GOW, news, health.

Press release:

Tobacco-Free Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming (TF-GOW) and statewide partners are kicking off the regional and statewide launch of Tobacco Free New York State’s 2022 “It’s Not Just” campaign, intended to educate people across New York State about the tobacco industry’s historically inequitable marketing and promotion of menthol-flavored tobacco products. The It’s Not Just campaign speaks from the youth perspective, blending powerful imagery with direct quotes by tobacco executives to highlight the striking contrast between how the industry views youth and how youth see themselves. It is an extension of the campaign launched in May 2021 to urge the public to take action against the hard-hitting menthol-flavored tobacco product marketing that has targeted and harmed Black communities for decades.

“We know that menthol reinforces sustained cigarette smoking among our youth,” said Andrew Hyland, PhD, Chair of the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. “The educational component of the ‘It’s Not Just’ campaign, is the best tool to keep young New Yorkers away from menthol products and healthier for their future.”

The tobacco industry tracks the behaviors and preferences of youth under 21 because it sees “today’s teenager as tomorrow’s potential regular customer.” To mask the harshness of smoke, tobacco companies use flavors, like menthol, in their products to make them more appealing to new users, almost all of whom are under 18. In fact, nearly 81 percent of youth who have ever tried tobacco started with a flavored product, and more than half (54 percent) of youth ages 12-17 years who smoke use menthol cigarettes. However, menthol is not just a flavor. It attracts and addicts youth, making it easier for them to start and harder for them to quit. And, it’s not just an injustice, it poses a serious health threat to today’s youth.

Youth who initiate using menthol cigarettes are more likely to become addicted and become long-term daily smokers. Furthermore, nicotine exposure and addiction can prime the adolescent brain for other addictions, including opioid addiction. When New York State ended the sale of flavored e-cigarettes statewide in May 2020, it was a significant step toward reducing youth tobacco use. However, other flavored tobacco products, such as combustible menthol cigarettes, continue to present an obstacle to decreasing tobacco use among young people and underserved populations.

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and worldwide.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 will die early from smoking-related illness if the current rate of youth smoking continues. Even more shocking, every adult who dies early due to smoking is replaced by two new young smokers.

Individuals can learn more about how to help fight the injustice of menthol flavored tobacco products at the campaign’s website: NotJustMenthol.org.

Additional statistics:

  • Menthol and tobacco marketing
    • Tobacco companies have a long history of developing and marketing flavored tobacco products as “starter” products that attract kids.
    • Tobacco companies market menthol cigarettes as “smoother” than other cigarettes.
    • Documents from the tobacco industry show that the industry studied smokers’ menthol preferences and manipulated menthol levels to appeal to adolescents and young adults.
    • Research shows that the tobacco industry attracted new smokers by promoting cigarettes with lower menthol content, which is popular among adolescents and young adults.
    • Tobacco companies spend $8.4 billion each year to promote their deadly products, much of which directly reaches and influences kids.
  • Menthol usage and addiction
    • Menthol cigarettes lead to increased smoking initiation among youth and young adults, greater addiction and decreased success in quitting smoking.
    • Menthol cools and numbs the throat, reducing the harshness of cigarette smoke, making menthol cigarettes more appealing to youth.
    • Over 7 out of 10 African American youth ages 12-17 years who smoke use menthol cigarettes.
  • Health impact
    • Menthol cigarettes are not less harmful than other cigarettes, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found that they are likely a greater risk to public health than non-menthol cigarettes.
    • Researchers estimate that if a menthol ban had gone into effect in 2011, 320,000 smoking-attributed deaths would have been averted by 2050.
    • Menthol cigarette smokers are as likely to experience premature morbidity and mortality as non-menthol cigarette smokers.

Support available for New Yorkers who want to quit

The New York State Smokers' Quitline is a confidential service for all New York State residents who wish to overcome tobacco use, including e-cigarettes. Free offerings include individualized coaching and assistance with quit-planning from highly trained Quit Coaches, text and chat support and free shipping of stop-smoking medications such as nicotine patches or nicotine gum for those 18 and older. Residents of all ages may contact the Quitline for support and educational materials. In addition, the Quitline encourages teens and young adults (ages 13-24) to text “DROPTHEVAPE” to 88709 to join This Is Quitting, a free texting support program for help with quitting vaping. Visit nysmokefree.com anytime for more information or call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) seven days a week, beginning at 9 a.m.

Tobacco-Free New York State and Reality Check student groups around the state have worked tirelessly to educate local communities on the tobacco industry’s use of menthol and other flavored tobacco products as a tool to target, attract and addict new smokers. Tobacco-Free New York State, including the Reality Check student youth groups, is part of the NYS Tobacco Control Program.

April 22, 2022 - 7:16pm
posted by Press Release in vaccines, immunization, news, health.

Press release:

National Infant Immunization Week is April 24-30, 2022. This is an annual observance highlighting the importance of protecting children two years and younger from vaccine-preventable diseases. In the spirit of National Infant Immunization Week, we encourage parents and caregivers to take time to learn about vaccines.  

“Childhood vaccinations are one of the best ways to protect infants and children from vaccine-preventable diseases before the age of two,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). Vaccinations not only play a key role in protecting our children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, mumps and the measles, they also protect our community. They are the most successful and cost-effective public health tool available for preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases as well as preventing death.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some infants and children have missed or delayed routinely recommended vaccinations. “Children who may have missed or skipped vaccinations may be at an increased risk of diseases like whooping cough (pertussis) and the measles, which can be serious,” stated Pettit. “That is why it is important to stay on track with well-child visits and the recommended vaccination schedule. Please check with your healthcare provider to make sure your children are up to date on their routine vaccinations.”

To learn more about vaccinations and to view the latest immunization schedule visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines or speak with your healthcare provider.

For more information on GO Health’s Immunization Clinics, visit GOHealthNY.org. You can also contact your respective health department:

April 20, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Press Release in lead poisoning, health, news.

Press release:

Lead is a heavy metal that is toxic to our bodies and there is no safe level of lead to have in our blood. Lead can be found in homes built before 1978 (before lead in paint was banned), gasoline, water pipes, toys, ceramics, jewelry, pottery, and more.

The effects of lead poisoning are irreversible and can affect a child into adulthood. “Lead poisoning can affect anyone, but it is especially dangerous for infants and small children because their bodies are rapidly developing,” stated Paul Pettit, Director for the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). Childhood lead poisoning can damage the brain and nervous system leading to learning difficulties, lower IQ, difficulty in paying attention, hyperactivity, kidney damage, and, at very high levels, it can be fatal. Lead poisoning can also be dangerous for pregnant women because lead can pass to the baby during pregnancy. 

Childhood lead poisoning is a concern throughout the year, but cases of lead poisoning increase during the spring and summer months because children spend more time outdoors, on the porch or in the yard. Homes built before 1978 may have chipping and peeling lead paint on the porch or on siding, which could be more deteriorated than other parts of the house due to the effects of weather. Children playing on the porch can unknowingly pick up lead paint chips and dust on their hands and toys and then place hands or toys into their mouths.

Lead dust can also be found in the soil outside where children are playing. Strong winds can blow lead dust from nearby factories or from the chipped paint off houses and then settle into your yard. Although leaded gasoline was phased out in the 1970s, lead may still be in the soil after it was released into the air from car exhausts and then settled into the ground nearby.

Lastly, many home improvements begin in the spring and summer. Renovations to areas of the home containing lead-based paint can put lead dust into the air, both inside and outside of the area being worked on. Lead dust can also collect on windowsills and in window wells. On warm days when the window is open, lead dust in these areas can blow into the house.

“Lead poisoning in children is completely preventable,” stated Pettit. “You can follow these steps to protect yourself and your family from the effects of lead exposure.”

  • Talk to your doctor about a simple blood lead test. New York State requires that health care providers test children for lead at ages 1 and 2 and whenever there is a risk of lead exposure.
  • Wash children’s hands before eating and naps or bedtime.
  • Wash children’s toys regularly.
  • Have children play in a sandbox, rather than on the ground.
  • Clean floors with a wet mop and cleaning solution.
  • Wet-wipe dusty areas such as windowsills, window wells, countertops, and furniture.
  • Keep your home free of chipping or peeling paint and renovate safely.
  • Mist surfaces with water before scraping or sanding to prevent creating dust.
  • Have your children eat a balanced diet rich with iron, vitamin C and calcium.

For more information on GO Health’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Programs, visit GOHealthNY.org. You can also contact your respective health department:

April 11, 2022 - 1:10pm
posted by Press Release in anti-rabies clinic, health, news.

Press release:

Spring is here and that means wild animals will be giving birth to their babies. Sometimes these cute baby animals will stray away from their mothers and wander into backyards, into barns, and onto porches tempting people to catch them and take them in as their own. “Please leave them alone because it can put you and other family members at risk of exposure to a fatal disease such as rabies,” stated Paul Pettit, Director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health).

Rabies is a central nervous system disease, which attacks the brain and almost always results in death if rabies exposure is not treated. Rabies is most often spread through bites, scratches, and contact with infected saliva. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rabies is most often seen in bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes, but any mammal can be infected with rabies. In addition, pets and livestock can get rabies if they are not vaccinated to protect against infection.

In 2021, GO Health tested 46 animals for rabies, and four tested positive. Additionally, 221 dogs and 54 cats were observed in 10-day confinement between the two counties. A domestic animal is subject to 10-day confinement if they bite a human. The animal’s health and behavior is monitored for 10 days to determine if rabies may be present and if further action is required.

What can you do to protect yourself against rabies?

  • Leave all wildlife alone, including any injured animals. If you find an injured animal, do not touch it and contact your local animal control office for help.
  • Avoid feeding, approaching, touching, or adopting wild animals and stray domestic animals such as cats and dogs.
  • If you see a stray dog or cat, do not pet it. This is especially important if you are traveling out of the United States to a country where rabies in dogs is common.
  • If you find any animal that is acting strangely, you should contact your local animal control office for help.
  • Be sure that your pets (dogs, cats, and ferrets) are up-to-date on their rabies vaccination. Even indoor pets should be vaccinated and it is also recommended that livestock animals are vaccinated.
    • Public Health Law, Article 21, Title 4 requires New York State (NYS) residents to keep their pets (cats, dogs, and ferrets) up-to-date on their rabies vaccination.
  • Keep family pets indoors at night and do not let them roam alone.

Anyone who has been bitten by any animal or may have been exposed to rabies needs to take immediate action. Make sure to thoroughly clean any wounds or bites with soap and water, and then call your health care provider for further instructions. If you can do so safely, capture the animal (being careful not to damage the head/brain) and call your local health department to report the incident. Capturing the animal is vital in order for it to be tested for rabies. Testing will confirm if the animal is infected with the virus or not, making sure that only those who need treatment get it. 

A doctor in consultation with the health department will determine who needs to be vaccinated with rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (RPEP). The cost to treat an individual varies considerably based on weight, number of doses, and insurance.  In 2021, treatment costs ranged from $2,000.00-$9,000.00.  GO Health will work with the patient’s insurance company, but what is not covered by insurance is ultimately the responsibility of the taxpayers.  In 2021, Genesee County treated 14 people and Orleans County treated 13 people.

“We encourage residents to do their part to prevent rabies in the community by vaccinating their pets and practicing caution around wild and stray animals,” stated Pettit.  “Please visit one of the upcoming FREE drive-thru anti-rabies immunization clinics for dogs, cats and ferrets.”

  • Genesee County Clinics at the Genesee County Fairgrounds (5056 East Main Street, Batavia, NY)
    • Thursday, May 19th, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    • Thursday, August 11th, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    • Thursday, September 15th, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    • Thursday, October 13th, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Orleans County Clinics at the Orleans County Fairgrounds (12690 Rt. 31, Albion, NY)
    • Saturday, April 23rd, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
    • Saturday, June 4th, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
    • Saturday, August 13th, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
    • Saturday, October 15th, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

For more information on Health Department services, visit GOHealthNY.org or call 589-3278 for Orleans County or 585-344-2580 ext. 5555 for Genesee County.

 

April 6, 2022 - 2:18pm
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, health, news, 139th assembly district.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today joined his colleagues for a press conference in which Sen. George Borrello (SD-57), Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I-Schoharie), and Assemblyman Michael Lawler (R,C,I,SAM-Pearl River) announced their lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Department of Health regulation establishing isolation and quarantine procedures for those suspected of having a communicable disease. Hawley and those who’ve brought the lawsuit forward assert its implementation through the regulatory process violates the separation of powers.

Regulation 10 NYCRR 2.13 would empower the Department of Health to forcibly isolate and quarantine individuals exposed to communicable diseases, potentially in locations that aren’t their homes. Adopted on Feb. 22, 2022, the New York State Department of Health’s Public Health and Health Planning Council is set to renew the rule on an emergency basis today. Steps have also been taken by the council to make the regulation permanent.

“The role of the Legislature is to protect the public from dangerous policies like this, which would never survive scrutinous debate in the Assembly,” said Hawley. “When a bill containing most of the same measures this rule does was put before the Assembly in years past (A.416, Perry), it had only a single sponsor, so it seems to me the governor is truly trying to subvert our constitutionally-sanctioned legislative process to put this proposal into law. By subverting the Legislature, the governor has silenced the voices of the people they represent, who almost certainly would not wish to grant their government this overreaching authority.”

April 4, 2022 - 4:32pm
posted by Press Release in health, news.

Press release:

April 4-10, 2022 is National Public Health Week (NPHW) and this year’s theme is “Public Health is Where You Are”. “National Public Health Week is a great opportunity to raise awareness about what public health is,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). “This week is used to help educate and highlight the issues that are important to improving the health of individuals, our community and our nation.”

This year, there are daily themes for National Public Health Week and although these are complex issues, there are still small things that you can do to help the health of individuals and our community.

  • Monday, April 4th – Racism: A Public Health Crisis
    • Racial inequities in health care, income, housing, education and many other factors have become more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. These inequities impact the health and well-being of community residents. We encourage you to start conversations about health equity and have an open dialogue about how biases and inequities contribute to health disparities in our community.
  • Tuesday, April 5th – Public Health Workforce: Essential to our Future
    • The public health workforce is essential to our future! Thank a Public Health Professional for all the work that they have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but also what they will continue to do in the future to help the health of our community.
  • Wednesday, April 6th – Community: Collaboration and Resilience
    • Come together as a community to improve housing, education, food, transportation and the environment. Share your voice and opinions about the health of your community by completing the Community Health Assessment survey.  You can access the survey by visiting the following links:
    • You can also make an impact by joining a community garden, donating food to a local food pantry, or volunteering at a local food distribution event.
  • Thursday, April 7th – World Health Day: Health is a Human Right
    • Celebrate World Health Day by protecting our planet and our health. Even doing small things such as walking or cycling to work, buying your groceries from local producers, recycling and buying less plastic can make a difference.
  • Friday, April 8th – Accessibility: Closing the Health Equity Gap
    • While there are public health resources available where we live, some barriers can make it hard for people to access and use these resources. These barriers could be physical, mental, financial, or cultural. Advocate for your neighbors and engage your local leaders to support health equity in our community.
  • Saturday, April 9th – Climate Change: Taking Action for Equity
    • Understanding and addressing climate change is critical to protecting human health and the environment. By working together, we can lessen the impacts of climate change by making choices that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Small things such as using water efficiently, buying used items, reusing or repurposing items, and reducing your food waste can all make a difference.
  • Sunday, April 10th – Mental Wellness: Redefining the Meaning of Health
    • Each year, one in five American will experience mental illness. To improve your mental health, eat a well-balanced diet, engage in physical activity such as walking or hiking, participate in activities you enjoy and connect with others. Seeking help from a mental health professional is a sign of strength, not a weakness.  If you are struggling with depression, contact a mental health provider or call Care + Crisis Helpline at 585-283-5200, or text 741741.

GO Health hopes that you will help celebrate National Public Health Week by participating in some of the ideas described above to help make our community healthier, stronger and safer. By working together, we can build a healthier community and help everyone in Genesee and Orleans Counties live a healthier life. 

March 2, 2022 - 6:28pm
posted by Press Release in health, news.

Press release:

The Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming (GOW) County Health Departments and Hospitals are currently working with community partners to gather information from residents and those who work in these counties to help with public health planning for the next three years. The information will help inform and guide documents called the Community Health Assessment (CHA), Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), and Community Services Plan (CSP). This initiative is part of the New York State Prevention Agenda, the state’s health improvement plan, which is a blueprint for state and local action to improve the health and well-being of New Yorkers.

The 2019-2024 NYS Prevention Agenda Priority Areas are to Prevent Chronic Diseases; Promote a Healthy and Safe Environment; Promote Healthy Women, Infants and Children; Promote Well-Being and Prevent Mental and Substance Use Disorders; and Prevent Communicable Disease. In the 2019-2022 GOW Community Health Improvement Plan, the community survey and community conversations helped inform some of the public health initiatives that the local health departments and hospitals focused on, which were:

  • Promote Well-Being and Prevent Mental and Substance Use Disorders
    • Prevent opioid overdose deaths
  • Prevent Chronic Disease
    • Promote tobacco use cessation
    • Increase cancer screening rates
    • In the community setting, improve self-management skills for individuals with chronic diseases, including asthma, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, prediabetes and obesity.

Now, we are looking for community input to help inform the next Community Health Improvement Plan and to fully assess the health status of our communities. We are asking the public to participate by taking a survey and sharing their viewpoints during community conversations. An online survey is available and paper copies will be available at various locations throughout each county. You can access the survey by visiting the following link:

The survey is anonymous, only takes about 15 minutes to complete and focuses on the health of the person taking it. If you are under the age of 18 years old, be sure to receive permission to take the survey from your parent(s) or guardian(s).

“As chief health strategists, the health departments are working toward identifying major community health challenges, gaps in services, and other factors that may contribute to a less than optimal health status for our community residents,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). “The input from our residents will help identify community health needs, which will ultimately help us to develop our Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) for the next few years.”

The health departments are also seeking to schedule Community Conversations with willing groups to learn what they feel are the greatest health concerns or issues in their community and thoughts on how they can be improved.

“This process offers an opportunity for our community members to have a voice about the barriers and issues they face when trying to be healthy,” stated Laura Paolucci Wyoming County Health Department Public Health Administrator. “The more members of the community who participate, the more inclusive and stronger these plans will be.”

To participate in a community conversation, obtain hardcopies of the survey, obtain flyers that promote completing the survey online, or have any questions, please contact your local health department:

February 14, 2022 - 8:00am

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Of the myriad weight loss apps, programs, diets and routines out there, many people still fail to achieve long-lasting success, and Nancy Fallon, certified coach and manager of the Ideal Me Weight Loss Clinic in Batavia, believes there can be another outcome, she says.

“The Ideal Me protocol is a science-based program designed to help you lose weight by resetting your body to lose fat,” Fallon said during an interview with The Batavian. “It’s a three-phase approach to losing weight, and, most importantly, learning how to  keep it off. We’re excited about it. When you lose those initial pounds, it gives you the motivation to keep going.”

Ideal Me Weight Loss is part of Guler Cardiology and Wellness at 34 Swan St., Batavia. It’s a branch of the Ideal Protein of America company, which focuses on fat-burning through an initially low-carb, higher protein food program.

Unlike many of those other programs, Fallon said this one provides one-on-one counseling and the education necessary to keep clients on track with a life-changing transformation. The three phases start with the actual weight loss; that is achieved by getting the body into ketosis with a quality protein meal plan of three “Ideal Me Protein” products, plus vegetables and proteins such as chicken, beef, or fish. That initial phase includes a review of the client’s health history, weight loss goals, and food preferences. For example, there are gluten-free and vegetarian options for those clients who need them. 

Phase II is to stabilize that weight loss by re-introducing carbs — low glycemic carbs — to the meal plan and drop to two Ideal Me Protein foods per day; and the third phase is to sustain the weight loss by making healthier food choices, writing in a food journal and maintaining a weekly check-in with a certified coach, she said. 

The program is overseen by a medical physician, Dr. Ahmet Guler. There is “a huge epidemic” of people being overweight and obese throughout this country, he said, and that leads to many different illnesses.

“Heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, atrial fibrillation, and the list goes on,” Guler said. “So with all that in mind, what our goal here, or our vision here, is, basically, how can we get our communities healthy.”

The answer was discovered with the Ideal Protein of America program as a way to improve the local population’s diet and ultimately reach a healthier weight, he said. The program decreases highly saturated fats and carbohydrates and increases proteins and low-carb fruits and vegetables, supplemented with protein-based snacks and desserts. In turn, by doing that, those symptoms of hypertension, diabetes and/or high cholesterol might also improve, Dr. Guler said.

His philosophy is that people who are overweight also often move less as a result, which leads to other problems. So by attacking the cause — the weight — the issues of painful hips and knees, heart disease, and other ills have a better chance of improving, he said.

“So if we could help you lose that weight in a healthy way, in a scientifically proven way, then basically, you may have a chance, a second chance, at life in terms of motivating yourself to start moving,” he said. “And as you move, it might motivate you to do more exercise. And if you do more exercise or cardio exercise, then your overall health just may improve. So that's basically the gist of it.”

The Ideal Me program is a one-year package deal that includes a variety of 70 Ideal Protein foods of salty, savory, chewy, crispy, and/or sweet tastes; plus vitamin and mineral supplements, and one-on-one sessions with the coach. Does it mean never eating fast food again? Not necessarily. However, the coach and program material will teach you how to make healthier choices for overall better health, he said. 

Fallon experienced first-hand how the program worked, and has gone from client to cheerleader and coach for its effectiveness.

“I did the program four years ago, and I lost 35 pounds. My bloodwork was better than it ever has been in years,” adding what made the difference for her. “I could still have those little treats I liked, the chocolate products I was able to have.”

She also believes that the program strays from others by offering individualized plans, accountability and motivation depending on clients’ needs. Seminars on the program are being offered every two weeks at the wellness center. Prospective clients will be able to sample products and hear more about the program, she said.

For more information or to sign up for a seminar, call (585) 250-4567 or email [email protected].

Top photo: Dr. Ahmet Guler and Nancy Fallon celebrate the addition of the Ideal Me Weight Loss Clinic at Guler Cardiology and Wellness at 34 Swan St., Batavia. The clinic (and one in Warsaw) is the "only one in this area" between Buffalo and Rochester, Guler said. Photo by Howard Owens.  

January 24, 2022 - 4:41pm
posted by Press Release in Le Roy, COVID-19, health.

Press Release:

The Town of LeRoy has received  110 COVID test kits. Each kit contains two tests. The town will distribute them for free on Wednesday Jan. 26 at the Town Hall starting at 10:00 a.m., on a first come first serve basis. Each household may have two test kits. You must be a resident of Genesee County in order to receive the kits. Please bring ID that shows your residency.

 

January 22, 2022 - 9:15pm
posted by Press Release in genesee county, batavia, Le Roy, COVID-19, health.

Press Release:

Genesee County has received 2,580 free COVID-19 test kits from New York State to distribute to Genesee County residents. Starting the week of January 24, 2022, test kits will be available at town, village, and city municipal buildings during their regular business hours, while supplies last. Residents should contact their local municipality for details of when the municipal building is open and the availability of test kits. A maximum of 2 kits (4 tests) per family will be distributed and attendees will be required to show proof of Genesee County residency in order to receive kits. The following locations will have a limited supply of COVID-19 test kits:

  • Town of Alabama
  • Town of Alexander
  • Town of Batavia
  • Town of Bergen
  • Town of Bethany
  • Town of Byron
  • Town of Darien
  • Town of Elba
  • Town of LeRoy
  • Town of Oakfield
  • Town of Pavilion
  • Town of Pembroke
  • Town of Stafford
  • Village of Alexander
  • Village of Bergen
  • Village of Corfu
  • Village of Elba
  • Village of LeRoy
  • Village of Oakfield
  • Batavia City Hall, Clerks Office

“Residents should use at-home COVID-19 tests after a possible exposure to someone with COVID-19 or when they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). “Testing is one mitigation strategy that can help reduce the community spread of COVID-19.” For Free PCR and rapid testing, you can go to the NYS COVID-19 Testing site located at GCC Albion Campus Center at 456 West Avenue, Albion. Walk-ins and registration allowed Monday- Saturday. To register: https://appointments.bioreference.com/nystatecovidtesting.

To report a Positive At-home Test:
Individuals can visit the GO Health website COVID-19 Testing page under Emerging Issues (GOHealthNY.org) and choose the appropriate Home Test button for their respective county. Individuals should complete the at-home tests according to the directions provided. When the test is completed, individuals should take a picture with the individual’s name, the date and the time they took the test legibly written in permanent marker within 15 minutes of reading the test. Towards the end of the online form, the individual will be required to upload the picture on the website and attest to the authenticity and truth of the form. If there are any missing sections that
are required, the form is invalid. At this time, individuals do not need to report negative at-home test results. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is to self-isolate immediately. You may not be contacted regarding your contacts, so it is important to notify your close contacts (those who you spent 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period 2 days prior to symptoms or 2 days prior to a positive test result). It is important to continue with self-isolation from household members as much as you are able. Isolate for 5 days and if you are fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, your symptoms are getting better, and you can tolerate a tight-fitting mask you can return to work/school but you are still required to wear a tight-fitting mask for 5 more days. If you must share space, make sure all in contact with you are wearing masks covering their nose and mouth and frequently shared items/surfaces are sanitized often. To access isolation orders and isolation release paperwork visit our website at GOHealthNY.org (COVID-19 Isolation & Quarantine Documents & Information) and complete and print out or print and hand write the forms from the county you reside in and provide to your employer or school.

Residents can sign up for an upcoming COVID-19 vaccination clinic to receive their first dose, booster shot, or pediatric dose at the GO Health website at https://bit.ly/GOHealthCOVID.

January 7, 2022 - 6:45pm
posted by Press Release in COVID-19, Genesee and Orleans counties, health.

Press Release;

“Due to the high volume of COVID-19 case reports in recent days exceeding the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health) and NYS contact tracing capacity to individually contact every Genesee and Orleans County resident with a positive COVID-19 test result GO Health and New York State are making some adjustments,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

New York State Department of Health has also announced that beginning next week changes will be implemented to case investigation and contact tracing. Please be advised this guidance may change. “The surge in positive COVID-19 cases brought on by the Omicron variant, the availability of home testing and the need to prioritize our resources has led us to make significant changes in our COVID-19 response, including suspending contact tracing for the general population ages 19-64. For those in schools or congregate settings, who are under the age of 18 and over the age of 64, due to the higher risk of spread and severity, contact tracing will continue as capacity allows” stated Pettit. 

Effective Monday, January 10th, residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 OR have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 will be able to visit www.GOHealthNY.org and choose the red COVID-19 Isolation & Quarantine Information button to be directed to the isolation and quarantine documents. For those who have tested positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted by NYS by e-mail or text. Once you are notified of your positive results by the lab or NYS, immediately self-isolate and notify your close contacts of their potential exposure. For those in the 19-64 age group, who test positive you should no longer expect to receive a call from the local health department, nor do you need to call the local health department. Please follow the general directions that NYS provides for isolation and quarantine and contact your healthcare provider for medical advice.

New Protocol for Genesee and Orleans CountiesIf you are in need of isolation, quarantine or release documents, they are available on the GO Health website. Complete the form(s) and print it out for your employer or school.

Isolation (for those who test positive for COVID-19)

If you test positive for COVID-19:

  • Isolate for 5 days, where day 0 is the day of symptom onset or (if asymptomatic) the day of collection of the first positive specimen.
  • If asymptomatic at the end of 5 days or if symptoms are resolving, isolation ends and the individual should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days.
  • Individuals who are moderately-severely immunocompromised should continue to follow standard (i.e., not shortened) Isolation Guidance.
  • Individuals who are unable to wear a well-fitting mask for 5 days after a 5-day isolation should also follow standard isolation guidance (i.e., 10 days, not shortened)
  • Quarantine (for those who have had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19)
  • Quarantine as follows, where day 0 is the last date of exposure:
    • If not fully vaccinated or fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster but not yet boosted, quarantine for 5 days and wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days.
    • If fully vaccinated and boosted (with the booster at least 2 weeks before the first date of exposure) or not yet eligible for a booster, no quarantine is required but these individuals should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure.
    • If possible, test at day 5 with either a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT, e.g., PCR) or antigen test.
    • If symptoms appear, quarantine and seek testing. In this situation, quarantine would end when the test is negative. If testing is not done, isolate according to the guidance above.

Quarantine orders and release are also included on the GOHealthNY.org website for you to complete and provide to your employer/school.

Given the changes announced for case investigation and contact tracing our data collection/reporting will be adjusted. Starting next week, GO Health will be releasing limited data on Wednesdays. For COVID-19 data please visit the NYS site: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-data-new-york.

January 7, 2022 - 5:43pm
posted by Press Release in COVID-19, genesee county, health.

Press Release:

Due to the anticipated high demand for free COVID-19 tests, Genesee County will distribute one test kit per car. Each kit contains two tests. The distribution event is scheduled for Saturday, January 8th from 12-2 pm at the Genesee County Fire Training Center, located at 7690 State Street Rd in Batavia.

County officials stress that there will be more opportunities in the future for the distribution of tests.

There are 2,580 available test kits, with two tests per kit. Attendees will be required to show proof of Genesee County residence in order to receive a kit(s). Should a resident test positive with an at-home rapid test, they are asked to report it here.

Residents can also sign up for an upcoming COVID-19 vaccination clinic to receive their first dose, booster shot, or a pediatric dose for children age 5-11 here.

 

January 5, 2022 - 2:53pm
posted by Press Release in genesee county, COVID-19, health.

Press Release:

Genesee County, in collaboration with New York State, is holding a COVID-19 rapid testing kit distribution event this Saturday, January 8th at the Genesee County Fire Training Center, located at 7690 State Street Rd in Batavia, from 12-2pm.

There are 2,580 available test kits, with two tests per kit. Those attending may take up to two kits per household, while supplies last.  Attendees will be required to show proof of Genesee County residence in order to receive a kit(s).This will be the first of several upcoming COVID-19 test kit distribution events, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Providing our residents with free COVID-19 test kits, thereby expanding testing county-wide, is an essential component in the fight against COVID-19 and stopping the spread,” said Genesee County Legislature Chair Shelley Stein. “We look forward to holding more of these events in the near future, but we remind residents that our best resource for fighting COVID-19 is to get vaccinated as they are proven to be safe and effective.”

Should a resident test positive with an at-home rapid test, they are asked to report it here.

As local schools are distributing test kits for students, Genesee County officials encourage families with students to utilize school resources to ensure people & families without students have access to county and state resources.

Residents can also sign up for an upcoming COVID-19 vaccination clinic to receive their first dose, booster shot, or a pediatric dose for children age 5-11 here.

January 3, 2022 - 4:04pm
posted by Press Release in Orleans County, COVID-19, health.

Press Release:

New York State has provided Orleans County Emergency Management Office with free at-home COVID-19 test kits to distribute to residents. Starting Thursday, January 6, 2022, each town hall and the Orleans County Office Building will have a limited supply of COVID-19 test kits to distribute to their residents during normal business hours until the kits are gone. Please note all the school districts have received kits for their students and will distribute according to their respective plans. A maximum of 2 kits per family will be distributed at the following locations: Orleans County Office Building: Monday-Friday 9:00-4:30

Town of Yates: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00-4:30

Village of Lyndonville: Monday-Friday 7:30-4:00 Closed Daily 12:30-1:00

Town of Ridgeway: Monday–Friday 9:00-4:30

Village of Medina: Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30

Town of Shelby: Monday–Friday 8:30-4:00

Town of Carlton: Tuesday–Friday 8:30-2:30 / Saturday 9:00-12:00 p.m.

Town of Gaines: Monday-Thursday 10:00-3:30 / Monday Evenings 5:00-7:00

Village of Albion: Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00

Town of Albion: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8:30-11:00 and 12:00-3:00

Town of Barre: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10:00-3:30

Town of Kendall: Monday-Friday 9:00-3:30 (closed for lunch from noon to 12:45)

Town of Murray: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00-4:00 / Saturday 9:00-12:00 p.m.

Village of Holley: Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00

Town of Clarendon: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00-4:00 / Tuesday 12 noon-6:00 p.m. / Friday 9:00-2:00 / Saturday 10:00-12:00 p.m.

To report a Positive At-home Test:
Individuals can visit the GO Health website COVID-19 Testing page under Emerging Issues (GOHealthNY.org) and choose the appropriate Home Test button for their respective county. Individuals should complete the at-home tests according to the directions provided. When the test is completed, individuals should take a picture with the individual’s name, the date and the time they took the test legibly written in permanent marker within 15 minutes of reading the test. Towards the end of the online form, the individual will be required to upload the picture on the website and attest to the authenticity and truth of the form. If there are any missing sections that are required, the form is invalid. At this time, individuals do not need to report negative at-home test results. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is to self-isolate immediately. A case investigator will contact the individual to determine any potential contacts, check on the individual’s health and provide guidance on their isolation.  Please answer the phone and be able to provide information regarding potential contacts when called. Also note, depending on our case load, it may be one to three days before you are called.  It is important to continue with self- isolation from household members as much as you are able. If you must share space, make sure all in contact with you are wearing masks covering their nose and mouth and frequently shared items/surfaces are sanitized often.

December 31, 2021 - 6:57pm
posted by Press Release in Governor Hochul, nys, COVID-19, health, plan, news.

Press Release:

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced Winter Surge Plan 2.0, a new targeted effort to bolster New York's fight against the winter surge. Governor Hochul's comprehensive plan focuses on five core areas: keeping students in school, doubling down on masks and testing, preventing severe illness and death, increasing access to vaccines and boosters, and working together with local leaders. Hours before the New Year begins, Governor Hochul also urged New Yorkers to celebrate New Year's Eve in a safe, responsible way.    

"As we head into the holiday weekend, New York State is mobilizing every resource at our disposal to fight the winter surge and keep New Yorkers safe," Governor Hochul said. "We can get through this surge through targeted actions, partnerships with local leaders, and by taking common sense steps to keep us all safe: get vaccinated, get boosted, and wear a mask indoors."

"We have every tool to keep our families and communities safe," Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. "We must ensure we use them all. Governor Hochul's targeted plan to expand vaccination and booster access, mask and test, and increase measures to protect our health care workers is the comprehensive strategy needed to combat the fast-spreading Omicron variant. Leveraging these layered mitigation tactics is how we will protect the health of New Yorkers and effectively manage the winter surge." 

1. Keep Schools Open: After two years of remote learning and school closures, Governor Hochul is focused on keeping students in school in the upcoming year. The first plank of Governor Hochul's 5-part plan includes:    

  • Providing tests to students and school districts: 5.56 million tests arrived for schools this week and between six and seven million more are expected to arrive in the coming days. New York has mobilized 40 trucks and 86 state personnel to distribute tests. Overall, New York State has secured 37 million tests for distribution.
  • Working with counties to implement Test-to-Stay: Test-to-Stay policies have proven successful at keeping our kids safe and schools open. If a student tests positive, classmates can take a test kit back home with them and return to the classroom upon receiving a negative result instead of mandatory quarantining. 
  • Keeping college students and faculty safe: SUNY and CUNY will be introducing a new requirement for all students to get boosters, campuses will require mandatory mask wearing in public indoor spaces, and will require all faculty to be vaccinated. Students will also be required to submit negative tests upon returning to campus.

 2. Keep Masking, Keep Testing: Governor Hochul recognizes that to stop the spread of the virus, New Yorkers must continue wearing masks and getting tested for COVID. Governor Hochul will:

  • Extend the mask-or-vax requirement: the Department of Health will extend the mask-or-vaccine requirement for an additional two weeks, protecting workers and allowing businesses to remain open.
  • Make masks more widely available: New York State has already distributed 5 million KN-95 masks, and more will be distributed through state legislators. Hundreds of thousands of masks will also be distributed for nursing home visitors.
  • Launch new testing sites: Governor Hochul will open six new testing sites on January 4, totaling 19 state-run sites statewide. Additionally, Governor Hochul announced the launch of two new testing sites at MTA stations, in addition to previously announced MTA pop-ups.

3. Preventing Severe Illness and Death: With case counts rising, Governor Hochul is making it a priority to prevent severe illness and death by supporting our hospital system. The Winter Surge Plan 2.0 will:    

  • Distribute antiviral treatments: New York is working with the Biden Administration to secure doses of the antiviral drug Pavloxid and make this treatment more widely available.
  • Boost hospital capacity: Governor Hochul will continue enforcing the November 26 Executive Order to boost hospital capacity. Since it took effect, the number of hospitals with limited capacity needing to pause non-essential surgeries has declined from 32 to 21.    
  • Launch National Guard EMT training: to ramp up our long-term health care workforce capacity needs, the Department of Health and the Division of Military and Naval Affairs will be launching two pilot EMT training classes on January 5th. This will cover two classes of 40 service members (80 service members in total) who will be able to be deployed by February.
  • Secure additional help from Federal partners: in the coming days, we will receive federal Department of Defense (DoD) Medical Response and Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs). This will include a 35-member DMAT to SUNY Upstate in Syracuse, 23-member DoD Medical Response Team to Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, and 50 new ambulance teams deployed to NYC.
  • Protect nursing home residents and workers: the Hochul Administration is in constant contact with all 606 nursing homes in New York and will be providing them with additional PPE to ensure the safety of all patients and staff. Additionally, the Administration is coordinating with hospitals and will be deploying durable medical equipment in continued support of the care for all New Yorkers.

4. Expand Access to Vaccines and Boosters: Vaccines continue to be the best defense against COVID hospitalization and death. While 95% of adult New Yorkers have received at least one shot, there's more to do to increase vaccination and booster rates, especially among children:

  • Provide boosters to nursing homes: New York will begin requiring each nursing home to demonstrate their plan to increase vaccination and booster rates among their residents.    
  • Increase pediatric vaccination: the most unvaccinated eligible cohort is New Yorkers aged 5-11. New York will increase our focus on pediatric vaccination.    
  • Get booster shots to teenagers: we anticipate approval of Pfizer's booster shot for children aged 12-15 and will immediately begin outreach to that population once ready.

5. Work With Local Partners: From the beginning, Governor Hochul has emphasized that the fight against COVID must take a collaborative approach. Fighting the winter surge requires close collaboration with local partners:    

  • Let local leaders lead: from New York City to Erie County, local leaders are making smart choices. We will continue this surgical, targeted approach.    
  • Provide resources to local partners: Governor Hochul will continue to lead a whole-of-government approach to fight COVID, making sure county emergency managers and local school boards have the tests and masks they need. 

 

December 30, 2021 - 8:02pm

Press Release:

As 2021 comes to an end, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health) want to wish you a healthy and Happy New Year! 2021 was a very busy year for the Health Department and a majority of staff efforts were focused on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, staff have also been working hard to ensure conditions in the community promote optimal health for the residents we serve. The Community Health Services staff have been working diligently at COVID- 19 testing and vaccination clinics, conducting COVID-19 case investigations and gathering/analyzing local COVID-19 data. In addition, staff have been educating on lead poisoning, investigating disease/foodborne illness outbreaks, providing guidance to pregnant moms and families with new babies as well as providing migrant health outreach to assist farm workers in both counties. Staff of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness team have been instrumental in planning, organizing and implementing the mass testing and vaccination clinics that occurred throughout the first six months of 2021. In the last six months, staff have been administering smaller testing and vaccination clinics that have been held weekly at the respective health departments. The Environmental Health Team members have been active in assisting with COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics, but also assuring the community is safe from foodborne illnesses by conducting food inspections and issuing health permits to temporary food service establishments. Staff have also been inspecting septic systems, enforcing the NYS Clean Indoor Air Act, and offering free rabies clinics in both counties. The Lead Program continues to promote education and outreach to enhance lead poisoning prevention and promote testing of children to determine potential lead exposure. Through a federal The Genesee Orleans County Health Departments (GCHD/OCHD) uses 4 types of documents to provide important information to medical and public health professionals, and to other interested persons. Health Alerts convey information of the highest level of importance which warrants immediate action or attention from New York health providers, emergency responders, public health agencies, and/or the public. Health Advisories provide important information for a specific incident or situation, including that impacting neighboring states; may not require immediate action. Health Guidance contain comprehensive information pertaining to a particular disease or condition, and include recommendations, guidelines, etc. endorsed by GCHD/OCHD. Health Updates provide new or updated information on an incident or situation; can also provide information to update a previously sent Health Alert, Health Advisory, or Health Guidance; unlikely to require immediate action.
 

“Healthy People in a Healthy Community” grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), GO Health addresses lead-based paint hazards and other housing issues by funding health-related home repairs, maintenance, and upgrades to eligible homeowners and landlords. In October, GO Health was awarded a five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to expand the primary prevention of childhood lead poisoning to the entire GLOW region. Staff within our Children’s Programs spent the first half of 2021 assisting with COVID-19 contact tracing and vaccination clinics. In the second half of the year, Service Coordinators have been instrumental in assisting parents and caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They provided education, case management, support and referrals to help children succeed and have a good quality of life. The Public Health Education team have worked diligently to provide up-to-date data and information related to COVID-19 to the community through press briefings, press releases, social media and website updates. GO Health launched their joint website this past spring, which is a centralized location for residents of Genesee and Orleans Counties to access forms and find resources. Weights & Measures (W&M) completed 345 inspections accounting for over 1,160 devices within the two counties. These tests involved pumping more than 21,000 gallons of fuel and using more than 5 million pounds of test weight ensuring all commercial weighing and measuring devices meet NYS standards. The department collected 132 fuel samples confirming fuel sold within both counties meet a variety of parameters. In the last two years, the W&M program has shown a savings in excess of $100,000.00 through GO Health shared services. In 2022, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties will be developing the new 2022-2024 tri-county Community Health Assessment (CHA)/Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and in partnership with local hospital systems, Community Services Plan. We will be looking for community members in all three counties to assist in the process by participating in community conversations and taking the Community Health Assessment survey. We are also looking forward to completing the Public Health Accreditation Process in November of 2022. “It is our pleasure to serve the residents of Genesee and Orleans Counties,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “We thank you for the opportunity and look forward to a productive 2022. We wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy New Year.”

For information about GO Health, visit GOHealthny.org . For the Genesee County Health
Department, call 585-344-2580 ext. 5555 and for the Orleans County Health Department, call
585-589-3278.

December 28, 2021 - 3:47pm
posted by Press Release in COVID-19, news, genesee county, health.

Press Release:

Genesee County is set to host a free KN95 mask distribution on Wednesday, December 29 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Alva Place parking lot, located on the corner of Alva Place and Bank Street in Batavia.  Additional KN95 masks will be available to the public during normal business hours at the Genesee County Clerk’s Office in County Building 1 at 15 Main St, Batavia, and the Genesee County Department of Social Services at 5130 East Main St, Batavia, while supplies last.  The free masks are provided by New York State.  

“We appreciate New York State stepping up to help us prevent the spread of COVID 19 and in particular the highly contagious Omicron variant by providing these highly effective masks,” said Genesee County Legislature Chair Shelley Stein.  “This will go a long way to helping our businesses, especially our retail businesses stay open, over the next several days as we welcome in the New Year.”

Residents can also sign up an upcoming COVID-19 vaccination clinic to receive their first dose, booster shot, or a pediatric dose for children age 5-11 here.

December 3, 2021 - 4:45pm
posted by Press Release in genesee county, Orleans County, news, health, health department.

Press Release from Genesee and Orleans County Health Department:

The smell of the evergreen trees, the taste of warm hot cocoa, and the cheerful Christmas songs are some lovely things that bring family and friends together during this festive season. With cold weather moving people indoors, there is also an increased risk of the spread of illnesses such as the flu , also known as influenza. However, there are ways to lower your risk of getting sick with the flu. National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is December 5-11, 2021. NIVW is an annual observance in December to remind everyone that there is still time to get vaccinated against the flu to be protected during the upcoming winter and holiday months. “You can protect you and your family members by getting vaccinated against the flu each year,” said Paul Pettit, Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “The vaccine lowers the chance of getting you and those around you sick with the flu. We also encourage those that have not received the COVID-19 vaccine, to get vaccinated as soon as possible ahead of the Holidays.” The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. Experts say that flu viruses are spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. The runny nose, sore throat and slow development of symptoms which are common for a cold, are not as common for the flu which tends to appear suddenly and includes a fever, body aches, chills, fatigue, chest discomfort and cough. Although a cold can be a bother, you usually feel much worse with the flu and sometimes influenza’s complications could be deadly.

Everyone 6 months or older should get a flu vaccine every year. It's best to get the flu vaccine early in flu season, ideally by the end of October. That way, the body develops antibodies in two weeks’ time which provides protection from the influenza virus. You might wonder, is it too late to get vaccinated? The simple answer is no. “Getting the vaccine later is better than not getting it at all,” said Mr. Pettit. “Once you have the flu vaccine, research shows that the vaccination reduces the risk of severe illness if you do get the flu.”

Below are the number of reported flu cases for Genesee and Orleans Counties since 2018 according to the New York State Department of Health. You will notice that there was limited flu in 2020-2021 because people were practicing public health precautions such as frequent hand washing, social distancing, limiting social gatherings, wearing face coverings, and staying home when ill. In addition, less germs were spread because people were staying home and limiting their contact with people outside of their household as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

                               

Flu seasons are unpredictable every year, so there is a new flu vaccine developed to potentially provide protection for the viruses that are considered to have the most potential to cause serious illness. As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination should continue throughout the flu season in order to protect as many people as possible. If you have not received your annual flu vaccine this year, now is the time! It generally takes 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine for your body to develop immunity.

Talk with your primary care provider or visit your local pharmacy to get the flu vaccine. To make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the GO Health website: https://gohealthny.org/covid-19-vaccine-information/.

If you want to see weekly flu updates, you can use the NYS Flu Tracker:

https://nyshc.health.ny.gov/web/nyapd/new-york-state-flu-tracker. For more information about Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments, visit www.gohealthny.org. You can also visit Facebook at: Genesee & Orleans County Health Departments, Twitter, and Instagram: @GoHealthNY

 

November 24, 2021 - 3:30pm
posted by Press Release in news, health, COVID-19.

Press release:

“While we remain committed to the health and safety of our communities, Genesee and Orleans County will not be creating or implementing any new mask or vaccine mandates at this time.  We believe new mandates will only push residents into private settings where spread will still continue but local businesses will suffer.  For almost two years, businesses across the region have taken various measures to protect their workplaces and we trust them to do the same at this time.”

“We recognize and are concerned about rising infection and hospitalization rates, which is why we continue to strongly encourage our businesses and residents to continue to follow CDC recommendations and mitigation strategies such as practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated, including booster shots. It is also important to note that those who become infected and those who are symptomatic should immediately isolate.”

“Finally, the state needs to provide greater testing resources for our schools and community as a whole, both for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.  This is important as those we can identify as Covid-19 positive can be quickly isolated to help prevent spread.  Local governments alone cannot be expected to find and procure all of the test kits needed between the school and community needs.”

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