Delaware County officials reported a new confirmed COVID-19 case on Friday, but also announced that a patient has recovered.
According to a media release from Delaware County Public Health, the department received a new, laboratory-confirmed positive COVID-19 report. The total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Delaware County is six, the release said. Investigations are ongoing and all contacts are being notified and quarantined.
The first person to test positive is fully recovered and no longer in isolation, the release said. Two patients are recovering while isolating at home in Delaware County and three are isolated and receiving medical care in a hospital.
The release also said there are 13 people under mandatory quarantine and five people under precautionary quarantine. There have been 101 people tested; 15 with tests pending; and 77 negative results.
Officials warned that confirmed cases does not mean the total number of cases. Because access to testing is limited, the number of confirmed cases does not reflect the current spread of COVID-19, the release said. Public health officials recommend everyone to continue social distancing to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.
The Delaware County Board of Supervisors released a statement Thursday explaining why, unlike some other counties, it isn't releasing town locations of positive COVID-19 cases.
This decision was made by the Delaware County Public Health Department and supported by the county Board of Supervisors, according to county Planning Department Director Shelly Johnson-Bennett, who is also the public information officer for the board's Thursday media release.
There were two reasons for the decision, Johnson-Bennett said.
Delaware County will not release locations to protect patient privacy because this could inadvertently identify a patient. The other reason is because knowing the location won't help people protect themselves from the virus anyway, Johnson-Bennett said.
More and more patients are unable to identify where they were exposed to the virus as part of the contact investigation, according to the release. In some cases throughout upstate New York, there have been no known contacts with others that tested positive for COVID-19 nor were there exposures from large gatherings or community events.
"It's widespread at this point," Johnson-Bennett said. "We don't know exactly where it's coming from. We kind of have to assume that every community has it."
Johnson-Bennett said she understands the perspective of people who have said they'd feel safer knowing locations, but this is the county's position right now.
"Even if you knew where it was, it doesn't protect you because it's everywhere," Johnson-Bennett said. "We didn't want to give people a false sense of security by knowing where it is because it doesn't mean someone next door to you doesn't have it."