As testing has been ramped up, a total of 19 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Putnam County.
With those cases, reported on Saturday afternoon, March 21, the county now has a total of 31 cases, the Putnam County Department of Health said.
The individuals have been quarantined and will continue to be monitored carefully, the department said in a statement.
Neighboring Dutchess County reported 13 new cases the last 24 hours, increasing its number of cases to 49. Westchester has 1,385 total cases, 294 of which are new.
The Putnam Health Department said its communicable disease staff is "interviewing these individuals to learn about their movements, and identify all close contacts," noting that "contact tracing then begins, which includes asking for a detailed history of where they have traveled, worked, shopped, and more.
"On the basis of these answers, the communicable disease staff will compile a list of people who may have been potentially exposed. The staff then contacts each of these people to explain their risk. Regular communication and monitoring for symptoms of the disease continue for these contacts.
The department of health said it is not able to release the names of the towns with lab-confirmed positive cases. The department said it follows HIPAA (patient privacy) and New York State DOH regulations, protecting this information.
"The New York State Department of Health determines the threshold for the number of cases when information can be shared, and at this time, the Putnam County case number does not meet the threshold," the department noted. "This is the same for reporting any other communicable disease."
On Thursday, March 19, the number of Putnam cases went from two to six and on Friday, March 20, it doubled, going from six to 12.
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