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November 25, 2020 - 4:46pm
posted by Press Release in COVID-19, news, health alert, notify, county health department.

Health Alert

The Genesee County Health Department has received a positive COVID-19 test from an individual who was at Kelly’s Holland Inn in Batavia (25 Evans St.) on:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 17th between the hours of 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 18th between the hours of 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 19th between the hours of 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 20th between the hours of 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Contact tracing is in progress; however unidentified individuals may have unknowingly been in contact with the positive case. 

We advise all individuals who were at Kelly’s Holland Inn on the stated dates and times to monitor their symptoms for 14 days.

If symptoms of COVID-19 develop, contact your primary care provider to seek testing immediately and self-isolate until you receive your test results.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include but are not limited to: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.

For more information please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home.

April 27, 2020 - 12:21pm

Press release:

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments are postponing the anti-rabies immunization clinics scheduled for May to comply with the New York State on PAUSE executive order.

Cats, dogs, and ferrets still need to be protected against rabies with a vaccine. Please call your local veterinary practice about how and when to vaccinate your pet.

New dates will be forthcoming.

  • The next anti-rabies immunization clinic in Genesee County is scheduled for Aug.13th at the Genesee County Fairgrounds from 4 to 7 p.m.
  • The next anti-rabies immunization clinic in Orleans County is scheduled for Aug. 15th at the town of Shelby Highway Building from 9 to 11:30 a.m.
September 4, 2019 - 11:52am

Press release:

The Genesee County Health Department is offering a free Anti-Rabies Immunization Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 19th, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Pembroke Highway Department, 1145 Main Road (Route 5), Pembroke.

Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats and ferrets. Each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. Voluntary donations are accepted.

You can save time by filling out your registration form before going to the clinic. To do so, click here. If you fill out your registration form in advance, please be sure to print out two copies for each pet to be vaccinated and bring them with you.

April 12, 2018 - 5:08pm

From the Genesee County Health Department:

Spring is here, and although many of us are anticipating the arrival of the warm weather, home renovations will soon begin. A fresh coat of paint can spruce up and room and give it new life.

Many folks are anxious to begin their renovations, but it is crucial to keep in mind the age of your home. If your home was built before 1978, you must consider that the paint in your home could contain lead, and you will have to plan any home renovation, repair, and painting activity with that in mind.

Lead is a metal that can harm children and adults when it gets into their bodies. Lead poisoning is caused by swallowing or breathing in sources of lead. The most common source of lead poisoning comes from lead dust which is created from chipping, peeling, or deteriorated lead based paint. The smallest particles of lead dust cannot be seen but they can easily enter and harm the body.

Sarah Balduf, Environmental Health director of Genesee and Orleans counties, explains why renovating older homes could turn problematic if not completed properly.

“The greatest risk with renovating older homes is that many people are unaware that their home contains lead based paint because they have completed renovations since the 1970s," she said. "Even if the lead based paint has been covered with new paint or another covering, cracked or chipped painted surfaces can expose the lead based paint, creating a lead hazard.

"If proper precautions are not taken to renovate lead based paint correctly, the health and well-being of the folks residing in the home will be compromised.”

The damaging health effects of lead poisoning are particularly concerning to young children and pregnant women. When lead gets into their bodies, it is distributed to the brain, liver, kidney and bones. Brenden Bedard, director of Community Health Services of Genesee and Orleans counties, further explains the complications associated with lead poisoning.

“Children who ingest lead are at risk for developing learning disabilities, behavioral issues, developmental delays, extreme lethargy, and chronic medical complications," he said. "Pregnant women who are exposed to lead can transfer the lead to their fetus.

"Some of the effects lead can have on their unborn child include delayed growth and development, premature delivery, low birth weight, and chronic medical complications. Adults who are exposed to high lead levels can also develop high blood pressure, headaches, digestive problems, memory and concentration problems, kidney damage, mood changes, nerve disorders, sleep disturbances, and muscle or joint pain.”

Although the negative health consequences of lead poisoning are scary, lead poisoning is 100-percent preventable! Renovating older homes require more work and safeguards to ensure the work being completed is done safely.

For larger projects, this may require hiring a lead-certified contractor. For smaller projects, you can manage the work yourself with proper precautions. Below are some tips on how to renovate right:

  • Remove all furnishings, rugs, etc. before beginning your project. The work area should be sealed with plastic and taped down to keep the lead dust in. Cover air vents and turn off heaters and air-conditioning systems during renovation and remodeling.
  • When beginning the renovation it is important to have the proper protective equipment on hand. It is best to wear a properly fitted respirator with special lead HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters, as well as coveralls, goggles and gloves.
  • Consider using special paints called encapsulants that seal the lead paint to the surface so it will not chip off.
  • Use low dust practices by spraying water on surfaces before sanding or scraping. Vacuum any lead dust with a HEPA vacuum. Floors should be wet mopped with a removable mop head and then HEPA vacuumed. When finished, the mop head should be disposed or washed separately.
  • Keep all non-workers, especially children, pregnant women, and pets outside of the work area until cleanup is completed.
  • After the project site has been completely cleaned, throw away your protective gear or wash it separately.

For more information on how to renovate right, please visit this government website.

For information about Health Department services contact the Genesee County Health Department at 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website here.

April 10, 2018 - 4:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in county health department, GCC, news.


The Genesee County Health Department conducted a community health emergency drill today at Genesee Community College, this time simulating how workers would handle a potential outbreak of Hepatitis A.

These drills are required by the state and state health department officials draw up the scenario that will be handled by all the county health departments in the state.

In this case, the health department was notified that a fictitious worker at a fictitious grocery store had contracted Hepatitis A, confirmed by lab results. Since the store employee handled fresh produce, residents in the county were to be notified through news media that if they had been in that store, especially in the produce section, that they may have been exposed to Hepatitis A. The residents are then encouraged to come to the aid station, register, be asked a few health questions and if not yet symptomatic, given a vaccine shot.

In the drill, nurses, from the mental health department in this drill, simulated the shots by sticking a needle into a tangerine. 

Some of the participants acting as patients in the drill were GCC students. Each trip through the process was worth a slice of pizza.



January 9, 2018 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in county health department, fitness, health, news.

Press release:

What is your new year’s resolution? The idea to eat healthier and become more physically active sounds appealing, but in reality, it’s much easier said than done.

Between work time and family commitments, there doesn’t seem to be much time left at the end of the day to think about preparing a healthy meal or visiting the local fitness facility. Life seems to get in the way of achieving that new year’s resolution.

“Life” (and other factors) has played a huge role in the obesity epidemic in our County. According to Department of Health’s Obesity Statistics for Genesee County, the percentage of adults who are overweight or obese is 63.5  percent and that for children is 15.2 percent. These rates are slightly higher compared to the New York State rates, which are 59.3 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively.

Being obese and overweight doesn’t just end there. It increases a person's risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain types of cancer, and other medical issues. Along with the risks for life-shortening chronic diseases, being overweight contributes to poor mental health associated with shame, self-blame, low self-esteem, and depression.

To battle this problem locally, the Healthy Children and Families Coalition in Genesee County offers an eight-week family-based program called "Get Fit!"

This program makes exercising and eating right fun and realistic. Throughout the program, families will bond together through exercising, making healthy food choices, discovering simple and time-saving recipes that taste great, as well as learning how to eat right on a budget. 

Begin the New Year on a positive note by enrolling your family today. A new eight-week session begins on Wednesday, Jan. 17th through March 7th. Classes are held every Wednesday at 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the YMCA on East Main Street in Batavia.

If your family attends six of the eight classes your family will be entered to win a family pass to the YMCA.

It is a great time to start taking the steps to live a healthier life and doing so will make a positive difference in your life.

The Genesee County YMCA, Rochester Regional Health United Memorial Medical Center, Rotary Club of Batavia, Batavia City School District, Genesee County Health Department, City of Batavia Youth Bureau, Oakfield Family Medical Care, Insight Grants Development, and Fidelis Care are challenging all families to show commitment in becoming healthy in 2018!

For details, and to enroll, contact The Healthy Children and Families Coalition at 585-344-5420 or register online here.

March 19, 2016 - 12:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in flu, county health department, news.

A Flu Alert has been issued by the Genesee County Health Department:

ALERT: Over the last few weeks, flu cases are on the rise locally and throughout New York! The flu virus tends to spread from October to May, with most cases occurring in January or February.

“It is important to note that vaccinations can be given at any time during the flu season," said Brenden Bedard, director of Community Health Services for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. "Even getting a vaccination later in the season (December through March) can still help protect you from influenza."

For information on positive influenza laboratory results reported to the New York State Department of Health by season, click on the link below:


It is important to call your doctor, pharmacist or health department to make sure they have a supply of flu vaccine in stock before going.           

Everyone six months and older should be vaccinated against the flu. The vaccine can help protect you from getting the flu, and it can help protect the ones you love.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you get the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available to you, even if you got vaccinated last season.

There are two main reasons for getting the flu vaccine every year. The flu viruses constantly change, so vaccines are often updated from one season to the next to protect against the most recent and the most common viruses going around. The other reason is, the protection a person gets from receiving a flu vaccination declines over time. For example, if you are vaccinated in November, 10 months down the road your protection against that year’s flu is not as strong as it was when you originally were vaccinated.

Anyone, even healthy people, can get sick from the flu. This illness can be very serious, and can lead to hospitalizations and even death. According to the CDC, each year in the United States a range of 3,000 to 49,000 people die from the flu or flu-associated illnesses.  http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm

“Being vaccinated every flu season is especially important for those at high risk for serious flu-related complications. It is also as important for those who live with or care for people who are at high risk,” said Paul Pettit, director of Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

People with higher risks for flu-related complications are:

  • Pregnant women (can only receive flu shots, not the nasal-spray flu vaccine) to provide protection for themselves and their babies;
  • Children younger than five, but especially children younger than 2 years old;
  • Adults age 65 and older;
  • Individuals with a chronic medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, HIV, etc.;
  • Residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;
  • People who life with or care for those at high risk of complications from the flu, including health care personnel, household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children younger than 6 months (these children are too young to be vaccinated), and caregivers of infants in Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

Flu-related complications can result in hospitalization and occasionally result in death. Complications include pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus or ear infections. The flu also can make chronic health problems worse. For example, those who have asthma, often experience more asthma attacks when they are ill with the flu.

It is also important to know there are some people who should not be vaccinated. They include:

  • Children younger than 6 months;
  • People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past;
  • People who have developed Guillain- Barré syndrome within six weeks of getting a flu vaccination;
  • If you have a severe allergy to chicken eggs, you can get the flu shot, but you will need to be supervised by a health care provider for at least 30 minutes after vaccination;
  • People who are sick with fever.

More information about the flu is available at the State Health Department Web Site at: www.health.ny.gov/immunization.

For information about influenza or health department services contact:

March 3, 2016 - 1:49pm
posted by David Whitcroft in job, science, local government, county health department.
Company Name: 
Genesee County Health Department
Job Type: 
Genesee County Public Health Department has an excellent summer employment opportunity. http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/docs/Combined_Files.pdf
September 25, 2015 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in county health department.


More than 100 volunteers and staff practiced a mass emergency medical drill today in the Genesee Community College Forum.

Called "Anthrax in Autumn," the drill was designed by the state Health Department and is designed to test the county Health Department's ability to deal with an urgent health and welfare situation affecting a large population of people.

In this case, the hypothetical scenario involved terrorists getting access to the marketing mail distribution of a large financial institution and mass mailing anthrax to population centers in credit card solicitations. 

"There's a high likelihood that because anthrax has been used for a weapon before, it can be used again," said Kristine Voos, public information officer for the county Health Department.

While local officials knew a drill was coming, they were only provided with details of the scenario a week ago.

In a typical real-life situation, the county would expect to have 48 hours to set up the distribution center.

The federal government has numerous locations around the country where the antibiotics needed to treat anthrax are stored. Once a distribution of anthrax is detected, local officials begin to mobilize their resources and the feds deliver the antibiotics. 

Today, the drill was about anthrax, but many of the skills and routines necessary to set up the distribution center would be used in a variety of health emergency situations.

While many of the volunteer patients today were students, members of the community were invited to participate. Upon arrival, they were registered, screened and then taken to a nurse who dispensed the medication with instructions on how it's administered.

For drill purposes, patients could pick either M&Ms or Skittles as a substitute for the antibiotics.

They were then treated to a lunch of pizza.







April 13, 2015 - 10:49am
posted by David Whitcroft in free, anti-rabies clinic, county health department.
Event Date and Time: 
April 16, 2015 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

Anti-Rabies Immunization Clinic at the Pembroke Highway Department (1145 Main Road (Route 5), Pembroke, NY) – April 16, 2015 4-7pm

July 14, 2014 - 1:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in county health department.

Press release:

The Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming county health departments are encouraging residents to “Think Health.” Taking time to think about your health and taking positive health steps will lead to healthier outcomes. Learning something new every day is one way to “Think Health”…

Summer allows more time for children to play outdoors, but when kids are covered with bug bites after spending time outside, parents may start to worry about disease spread by mosquitos, such as West Nile Virus (WNV), or by ticks, such as Lyme disease. Luckily, parents can take simple steps to prevent bites and diseases spread by bugs.

Take action

One case of WNV has already been confirmed in a mosquito pool (collection and testing of at least 50 adult mosquitos) in New York State this year. Prevent WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases by using insect repellant, wearing long sleeves and pants when practical, screening windows and draining standing water. Typically the mosquitos that transmit WNV breed in very small and dirty pools of water (as opposed to ponds and lakes). Common breeding sites include old tires, roof rain gutters, bird baths, wheelbarrows, and any other item that will hold small amounts of water for several days.

Choose an effective insect repellant

Parents may feel overwhelmed by the many products in the grocery aisle, wondering which ones are best. The national Center for Disease Control recommends a variety of effective products to avoid mosquito bites. Check the label for one of the following active ingredients:



-IR 3535

-Oil of lemon / eucalyptus

Most pediatricians recommend using products with 30 percent or less of these ingredients on kids. Once you’ve bought an insect repellent, use is whenever you and your children are outdoors. Put a few bottles or packets of repellent anywhere you might need them – in the car, by the door, in your bag. Make it easy so you’ll remember!

Most individuals, 70 to 80 percent, who contract WNV do not develop any symptoms. Those who do develop symptoms, about 1 in 5, will experience a fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash for several weeks or months. In rare cases, less than 1 percent, experience serious neurological illness, such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).

Make your backyard a tick-free zone

While often thought that ticks only live in the woods, ticks also can lurk in backyards. You can take some simple steps to make your backyard more tick-safe. Keep patios, play areas, and playground equipment away from scrubs, brushes, and other vegetation. Also, tick control chemicals are available for use by homeowners, or can be applied by a professional pest control expert.

Check for ticks

After playing outside, don’t make ticks an uninvited guest into your home. Ticks can ride in on parents, kids, and even the family pet, so check your gear and pets as soon as you get inside, even if your outdoor adventures were only in the backyard.

  1. Parents should check themselves and their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist and especially in the hair. As soon as you find a tick, remove it using fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as possible. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers. If a tick is attached to your skin for less than 24 hours, your chance of getting Lyme disease is extremely small. But to be safe, watch for signs or symptoms such as rash or fever and see a doctor if they develop.

Bathing when you get inside can also help you find ticks and remove them. Additionally, you can tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour to kill any remaining ticks.

By following simple prevention steps, parents and kids can keep pests away so they can focus on fun outdoor activities like gardening, camping, hiking and just playing.

For more information about vector-borne diseases (transmitted by mosquitos, ticks, and fleas) visit the following website: http://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dvbd/

For information about health department services contact,

Genesee County Health Department at: 344-2580, ext. 5000, or visit their Web site at www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/health/index.html. Visit Facebook at Genesee County Health Department and Twitter @GeneseeCoHealthDept.

Orleans County Health Department at: 589-3278 or check out their Web site at:  www.orleansny.com/publichealth. Visit Facebook and Twitter: the user name for both is OrleansCoHealth.

Wyoming County Health Department at: 786-8890 or visit their Web site at www.wyomingco.net/health/main.html

March 14, 2014 - 5:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, health, environment, county health department.

There is apparently a recommendation for a small number of Genesee County residents to boil their household water because of a possible manure spill in the area of Batavia Oakfield Townline Road and Lewiston Road.

The announcement came from the NY-Alert system, not from the County Health Department.

The announcement was released just before the health department closed for the weekend, though it contained information to call the health department for further information.

The announcement says, "At this time, the extent of the contamination is unknown and we would therefore recommend that you boil tap water in your home or use bottled water for drinking and cooking. If your well water quality changes as noticed by color and/or smell, immediately stop using it for all household uses other than flushing toilets."

The first version of the announcement was a recommendation for all Genesee County residents to boil water, then a second version said the spill was in the area of Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road and Lewiston Road.

Because the health department is closed, no further information is available at this time.

August 23, 2013 - 12:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in immunization, county health department.

Press release:

The Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County health departments are encouraging residents to “Choose Health” -- taking small steps in our day-to-day living and making positive health choices will lead to healthier outcomes.  Learning something new every day is one of those small steps…

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. If you think you outgrew the need for vaccines when you graduated high school and/or moved out of your parents’ house -- think again. Every year, thousands of adults in the United States suffer serious health problems, are hospitalized, or even die from diseases that could have been prevented by vaccinations.

Most people do not realize that adults need immunizations, too. While many know that a flu vaccine is recommended every year, few adults are aware of the need for other vaccines to help protect their health.

Protection from some childhood immunizations wears off over time, leaving you at risk to disease. For example, there has been a rise in cases of whooping cough (pertussis) in the last few years with more than 41,000 cases being reported in 2012. We have learned that protection from DTaP whooping cough vaccine given to children doesn’t last into adulthood, so all adults are now recommended to get one dose of Tdap whooping cough vaccine.

Adults may be recommended for certain vaccines due to their age, job, hobbies, travel, or health condition. Other vaccines may be recommended if they didn’t get certain vaccines as children.

Check your immunization records to be sure you have had the HPV vaccine, measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, and varicella (chicken pox) vaccine and are up to date on them, as some vaccines are administered less often than others.

Vaccines not only help protect you from disease, but they also help prevent you from spreading diseases to those who are most at risk of complications -- infants, older adults and those that have chronic health conditions, including asthma and diabetes.

For example, because older age increases the chance of getting shingles, CDC recommends that adults get the shingles vaccine once they turn 60 years old. People with diabetes, heart disease, COPD or asthma, even if well managed, are more likely than those without these conditions to have complications from the flu. To prevent possible difficulties like pneumonia, people with these chronic conditions should get the pneumonia vaccine along with their yearly flu vaccine.

Check with your doctor, local pharmacy, school health center, workplace, community health center or local health department for more information about vaccines and what is best for you.

For information about health department services:

  • The Genesee County Health Department currently has FREE DTap and Tdap vaccine, simply call to learn if you are eligible! Contact us at 344-2580, ext. 5000, or visit our Web site at www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/health/index.html.  Find us on Facebook at Genesee County Health Department and Twitter @GeneseeCoHealthDept.
  • Orleans County Health Department call: 589-3278 or check out our Web site at:  www.orleansny.com/publichealth. Visit Facebook and Twitter: the user name for both is OrleansCoHealth. 
  • Wyoming County Health Department call: 786-8890 or visit their Web site at www.wyomingco.net/health/main.html.
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