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COVID-19 Task Force Update – Nov. 18, 2020

by James Nobles / Tioga County COVID-19 Task Force - November 18, 2020

“There is now aggressive unrelenting expanding board community spread across the county reaching most counties without evidence of improvement but rather further deterioration. Current mitigation measures are inadequate and must be improved to flatten the curve to sustain healthcare systems for both COVID and non-COVID emergencies.”

This is by far the most powerful message we’ve heard from the White House Coronavirus Task Force in several months.

Here locally, we are now on week 3 of our continued increase in COVID-19 activity throughout the county. On Friday last week, the Task Force, along with our elected leaders put out a special message alerting you to the critical changes in COVID positivity. Since that report, we’ve continued to see an increase and presently have 311 active cases being reported in the last 14 days, with 204 of those being reported in the past 7 days. This bring the number of cases in November to 342. Tragically, Tioga County is also reporting 2 additional COVID related deaths this week, which brings our death total to 7.

With November’s positive cases already more than doubling that of October, this month is proving to be very challenging in controlling the spread, and we still have almost 2 weeks remaining in the month.

For the third week in a row, Tioga County remains classified as Substantial Transmission based on our PCR positivity which increased 82 percent this week to 14.2 percent and the number of positive cases per 100,000 residents which is presently 380 a 118 percent increase over last week’s cases. With 155 cases being reported just since Friday, projections have us remaining Substantial Transmission again next week.

The continued classification as substantial transmission has caused county school districts to make adjustments to the educational delivery models for our public schools. For specific information on the changes for each district, please visit that school districts website or their Facebook page.

Both cases and positivity rate continue to rise for the counties surrounding Tioga and this week Lycoming and Potter counties have been upgraded to substantial transmission joining Bradford County which remains substantial again for the 5th straight week. Although we are seeing a slight decrease in the positivity rates in both Chemung and Steuben counties, parts of Chemung remain classified as an Orange Zone and Steuben County remains classified as a Yellow Zone.

As I stated last week, projections for November continue to be concerning to the Task Force and with the Thanksgiving Holiday quickly approaching, the I’m asking all residents to please join the Task Force is supporting the 4 W’s of managing the virus.

1. Wear a mask over your mouth and nose.
2. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
3. Watch your Distances and try to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.
4. And most importantly have the will to persevere until our lives can return to normal.

If we lean into these 4 W’s over the next several weeks, we can turn the tide on the upward trend in community spread in Tioga County. So I’m asking you to please join me and our elected leaders to do your part in supporting the mitigation efforts that will help us lesson the curve to ensure our health system is not overrun with patients, our nursing homes residents and staff remain safe and protected, our public schools can keep their doors open and our children can stay in class and our small businesses can stay open and start to flourish once again.

We need to change the direction this disease in heading in our county and I’m asking for your help. With hospitalization on the rise, positive cases increasing in our skilled nursing facilities and cases rapidly spreading throughout the county, now is the time for all residents to pull together to control the spread of COVID-19.

If we can all follow the 4 W’s of COVID mitigation together we will all Stay Safe and Stay Healthy.

Credits:

Videography: Andrew Moore
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: James Nobles / Tioga County COVID-19 Task Force

Produced by Vogt Media
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