Picente: Details on coronavirus cases will not be released as county total rises to 15

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says three more people have tested positive for coronavirus in Oneida County, bringing the total to 15.

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 4:16 PM
Updated: Mar 25, 2020 5:14 PM

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said Wednesday three more people have tested positive for coronavirus in Oneida County, bringing the total to 15.

Two of the new cases were related to domestic travel, and the third person is being treated at a facility outside of Oneida County.

Anyone who was in close contact with these people has been notified and ordered to self-isolate.

Oneida County’s director of public health, Phyllis Ellis, said contacts are considered anyone in the household and any traveling companions.

People who have interacted closely with the contacts, or "contacts of contacts" of the infected people, should also monitor for symptoms and practice good hygiene, but are not required to quarantine, according to Ellis.

Ellis said Oneida County has not yet seen its highest number of cases after Gov. Andrew Cuomo projected the peak across the state would come in less than a month.

“The more cases you have the more apt you are to just continue that spread. And where that peak and flattening of the curve is going to happen – we probably haven’t seen it yet in our community,” said Ellis.

With the numbers projected to continue increasing regularly, community members continue to seek more specifics on the people who have tested positive. Picente stands by the county’s decision not to release details on the locations, ages or genders of the infected people.

“Our decision was based on handling this to the very best that we could without causing unnecessary anxiety and panic…I think that’s worked very well,” said Picente. “I know that information does get out through various sources, or families, that expose or disclose what they’ve gone through – and that’s fine. But we’re going to stick to what we’ve done from the very beginning.”

Picente said he is aware that other counties have been reporting various locations, but confirmed he does not plan to change course on how he's been reporting cases.

“We choose not to do that because we’re going to see more cases. I don’t see what benefit it does to a community to identify pockets, wherever they are. We’re going to see cases throughout this county – it’s a big county,” he added.

Earlier Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there are more than 30,000 cases in the entire state.

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