Cortland Health Dept. confirms third COVID-19 case

A third coronavirus case was confirmed today, according to the Cortland County Public Health Department.

“This is a person in their 50’s and does not appear to be related to the two cases previously identified,” the department noted in a 6 p.m. release on Facebook. “This brings the total of positive cases to three.”

The other two Cortland County residents that tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday were a child under the age of five and another person in their 50’s, according to the department.

The three residents are isolated under a public health order and their close contacts are being identified and will be quarantined, according to the news release. Health department workers will monitor those in quarantine for a fever or respiratory symptoms.

“While the risk to the general public remains low, the Cortland County Health Department is working to identify and contact all those who may have come in contact with the confirmed cases,” the release stated. “There are currently 30 members of the community who are not symptomatic and are self-quarantining for the recommended 14 days, with some members of this group linked to the confirmed cases.”

Local physicians and health care providers are continuing to test patients for COVID-19, but the county health department does not have the ability to test residents currently, the release notes. The department also noted results from the tests are taking longer than expected, although it did not state how long.

Further information  was not available this evening from the department.

Residents who have taken a test are asked to self-quarantine until their test results are back, according to the release. The county health department is identifying individuals who test positive and following up with them, the release states.

“The COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease is here in our community,” stated Catherine Feuerherm, the county public health director. “As testing continues, we expect to identify more cases.”

But there are steps we can all take to maintain our own health and support a healthy community.

Everyone should wash their hands, avoid touching their faces, cover coughs and sneezes with their elbow, clean and disinfect surfaces and stay six feet away from others, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Cortland County Health Department is also urging residents to stay home to stop the community spread of the virus.

“Everyone should be monitoring themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing,” according to the department’s release. “If symptoms do develop, stay home and call your doctor for further guidance about testing.”

The elderly, those with compromised immune systems and those with underlying health conditions should contact their doctors even if they are only mildly sick, the release states. If someone has symptoms, but does not have a doctor, that person should call the state health department hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or visit their website

“We are all responsible for slowing down the spread and protecting our most vulnerable,” Feuerherm said.

There are currently at least 44,183 cases in the U.S., according to today's report from the CDC. Cases are present in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The current death toll is 544 people, according to the department.