Legislature chair and health director urge vigilance in fighting spread of COVID-19
Genesee County Legislature Chair Shelley Stein and Genesee County Public Health Director Paul Pettit are urging county residents and businesses to step up in taking precautions to fight the spread of COVID-19.
Their call is the result of an increase of infections in Genesee County and the GLOW region and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement earlier today about parts of Erie and Monroe counties being placed in Yellow zones.
The Governor and his health experts have created three zones to manage the spread of the virus:
- Yellow Zone designates an area as being in a precautionary phase;
- Orange Zone designation denotes a community is in a warning phase;
- Red Zone means the community is in a cluster zone which imposes the strictest rules and regulations.
You can learn more about the zoning designation by clicking here.
“We don’t want restrictions that will negatively impact businesses and the local economy, but if we continue to see increases and spikes, New York State is going to come in and create the zones that were announced today in Erie and Monroe counties,” Stein said. “Unfortunately, that is where we are trending if we don’t take action fast and become more vigilant to fight the spread of the virus.”
Among the restrictions in a Yellow Zone includes that:
- Houses of worship can have no more than 50-percent capacity.
- The maximum number of people at nonessential indoor or outdoor gatherings is limited to 25 people maximum.
- Businesses can remain open but for restaurants there is a maximum of four people per table for both an indoor and outdoor dining.
- Schools can remain open but there must be mandatory weekly testing of students and teachers/staff for in-person settings.
Stein said that Genesee County will be reaching out to various government agencies and business partners to urge the community to step up their vigilance in wearing masks, maintaining appropriate social distancing, hand washing and other common sense things to prevent further spread of the virus. The County is asking these partners to spread the message through email and social media channels.
“The key thing at the moment is similar to what we experience with the cold and flu season and that is people feeling compelled to go out if they are not feeling well,” Pettit said. “If you feel ill in the slightest, then please do not go out or to work and contact your physician immediately in order to schedule a test.”
With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays right around the corner, the temptation of larger gatherings particularly of family and friends who travel from outside the region poses another way of how the infection rate can spread.
“Cold and flu season is here, and eventually bad weather will force people to gather inside which is a recipe for the spread of the virus and this becomes even more concerning with the holidays right around the corner,” Stein said.
Testing locations in Genesee County can be found here.