There are two more confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Cayuga County.
The Cayuga County Health Department said Sunday that a woman in her 20s and a woman in her 30s tested positive for COVID-19. It's unknown how one of the women contracted the virus, but the other had contact with someone who has a confirmed case of the coronavirus.
Both women are in mandatory isolation. The health department is conducting investigations to determine if they had contact with others in the community. Anyone who came within six feet of the confirmed cases will be placed into mandatory quarantine, according to the department.
The health department reported that 11 people are in mandatory quarantine because they either had contacts with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 or they developed symptoms of the virus while in precautionary quarantine.
As of Sunday, there are three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cayuga County. The first was a man in his 30s who traveled to the county. The health department announced his positive test result on Wednesday.
Kathleen Cuddy, director of the Cayuga County Health Department, said the agency has tested 74 people for COVID-19. The individuals met the testing criteria, which includes having symptoms of the virus — a cough, fever and shortness of breath — or "other risk factors."
The county is awaiting test results for 45 people. After being tested, they were asked to self-isolate until the results are known.
The two confirmed cases in Cayuga County will add to the statewide total. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that there are 15,168 people in New York who have tested positive for COVID-19. The death toll rose to 114, according to the figures provided by Cuomo.
"COVID-19 is killing people in New York state," Cuddy said. "This is not a drill. This is not a joke. At this time, social distancing is the only action we can perform to slow the spread of this virus amongst each other. There is no vaccine to prevent this and there currently is no treatment. It is imperative people comply with the recommendations to not congregate and do their best to keep a minimum of 6 feet from each other."
Social distancing, according to the health department, is important because of the limited availability of personal protective equipment for medical professionals and the strain on the healthcare system as the virus spreads. The department advised residents to limit trips to the grocery store and avoid gatherings at friends' homes.
Those who don't comply with social distancing guidelines are putting lives at risk, the department said.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. Most people who contract the virus will experience mild symptoms and recover. But seniors, individuals with compromised immune systems and people with underlying health conditions are at risk of serious illness.
Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.
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