St. Lawrence County Public Health asks residents to be cognizant of seasonal changes in health
BY ANDY GARDNER
North Country This Week
St. Lawrence County public health officials say people should be cognizant of their health symptoms as the seasons change. What may seem like seasonal allergies, a mild cold or hay fever could actually be COVID-19.
Public Health Director Dr. Dana McGuire made the comment during an update that she and Dr. Andrew Williams, president of the St. Lawrence County Board of Health, gave to the Board of Legislators during their Monday, Sept. 14 meeting.McGuire said a recent cluster of about 20 cases in Massena included some people who ended up testing positive for the coronavirus, but only had a runny nose or congestion for symptoms.
“Some people have pretty mild symptoms … it’s very tricky,” said Dr. Williams.
Dr. McGuire emphasized that people should stay home if they feel even the slightest bit sick, and always wear a mask when going into public or mingling with others. She said that’s “what we’re seeing the most in people not doing, and why we get the cases that we do.” She also urged people to also frequently wash their hands, stay six feet apart whenever possible and avoid unnecessary travel.
“Be aware of how you feel on a daily basis … wear a mask, and stay home if you’re not feeling well,” McGuire said. “The cluster we’ve seen has been due to a work site, spread to family members, and then spread at the types of the gathering we’ve seen in this area.”
Dr. Williams said anyone with any respiratory symptom should assume they have COVID-19 and get tested immediately.
“I would consider any respiratory symptom to be COVID, absolutely,” he told the legislators.
He echoed Dr. McGuire’s comments on the importance of people who feel sick to undergo voluntary self-isolation, pending the results of their coronavirus test.
“It’s very important that people self isolate if they don’t have a test back,” Dr. Williams said. “They should not go to work, they should not be around others. They should isolate and treat themselves as if they had the infection.”