Cortland County Health Department Updates COVID-19 Guidelines

Press release from the Cortland County Health Department.

Due to the high volume of cases, if you tested positive for COVID-19, it may be several days until someone reaches out to you about your positive test results. County residents who test positive are asked to self-isolate and to notify their contacts. Those who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive are being asked to self-quarantine.

To alleviate this problem and meet the needs of residents in isolation and quarantine, Cortland County Health Department (CCHD) is now providing self-affirmation forms in place of the Public Health Director Orders that were previously sent by the case investigators and contact tracers. These new forms are legal documentation and may be used for release from isolation or quarantine, and for New York Paid Family Leave COVID-19 claims. These self-affirmation forms may be used should your employer or school require documentation.

If you have a positive home test, report this to the Health Department by completing the new Home-Test Reporting Form for Cortland County residents. The online form will ask for basic contact information and will be uploaded into our case investigation system. A follow-up PCR test is not necessary. Once you receive a positive test result, regardless of the type of test, you are considered a positive case and should isolate from others.

Isolation Affirmation, Quarantine Affirmation, and Home-Test Reporting Forms can be found at:

On January 4th the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) updated its Isolation and Quarantine Guidance to align with CDC’s recommendations. The Cortland County Health Department will be following this guidance. The new guidance includes:

Isolation Guidance for General Population (those who have COVID-19):

  • Isolate for 5 days, where day 0 is the day of symptom onset or (if asymptomatic) the day of collection of the first positive specimen.
  • If asymptomatic at the end of 5 days or if symptoms are resolving, isolation ends and the individual should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days.

Quarantine Guidance for General Population (those identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 person):

  • If not fully vaccinated or fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster but not yet boosted, quarantine for 5 days and wear a well-fitting mask while around others for an additional 5 days.

As expected, we have received confirmation that the Omicron variant is within our community. It is important for everyone to do their part in decreasing the spread of COVID-19. We encourage everyone to wear a mask when in public places, avoid gatherings, get tested and stay away from others when you have symptoms, and get vaccinated and boosted as soon as you can.