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Health officials ask anyone who has traveled to areas affected by coronavirus to self-quarantine


There are still no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Onondaga County or in central New York. One person in Syracuse and one in Tompkins County are being tested, and 19 people in Onondaga County who have returned from one of the five countries where there has been a major outbreak of COVID-19, have been quarantined. 

Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta said Monday she has one big ask of the community right now: anyone who returns to central New York from China, Iran, Italy, North Korea or Japan, should self-quarantine.

"Simply, for 14 days, you’re going to be staying in your house or apartment. We’re going to ask you to take your temperature twice a day and practice social distancing from anybody," Gupta said.

That means not going to work or school, using public transportation, or visiting crowded places like a mall or movie theater. Gupta is asking the public to help support anyone they know who is quarantined.  She said this strategy has helped stem the virus in other communities, and the county’s goal is to keep it at bay for as long as possible. 

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said while there’s no positive report of a virus locally, residents should discuss what they’d do if they were forced to quarantine.

"What does that mean? Who do you have to help you do things? And if you don’t have people, we certainly have the emergency management department who will help people get the basic necessities," McMahon said.

Health officials continue to emphasize that if anyone shows symptoms of the coronavirus while they are home, they should call a physician to determine if they need to be tested, before going to the doctor's office or emergency room.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.