Picente Won’t Change Policy on Revealing COVID-19 Locations
Since the coronavirus outbreak began with the first positive case last week, County Executive Anthony Picente has refused to release the residential locations of positive victims, and that won't be changing. Picente, at his daily COVID-19 briefing on Thursday afternoon, said he wanted to address that issue after many people have complained.
"There is no benefit for the public in releasing the locations of positive results," Picente said. "It only provides a false sense of security for some in the community and then it leads to anxiety and panic for others," he said. Nearby Madison and Onondaga counties have listed age and location of positive results during their press briefings, acknowledged Picente and he said, "We chose to do it this way."
This disease knows no boundaries. This disease knows no town, village or city. It's everywhere. -Picente
Picente also revealed one new positive case in Oneida County, which brings the total positive coronavirus cases to 16. Only one patient remains hospitalized in an Oneida County hospital. He also released details on a new mental health hotline to assist people who are struggling emotionally due to the virus scare. He said the phones will be answered by mental health professionals in a one on one basis. "It could be as simple as cabin fever" concerns, he said. "This is a difficult time." The phone number is 1-800-678-0888 and it will become active at 8:30 a.m. on Friday.
Picente also downplayed a story claiming that inmates were being shipped up to Oneida County jails and prisons from New York City. He said that he has never discussed it with the state prison system or with the governor's office; however, the state might not inform him of that. A recent story at WIBX950.com claims that up until this week inmates were being transferred all over the state, including the CNY area, according to NYSCOPBA, which is the union representing corrections officers. The union's fear is that the transfers could spread the coronavirus upstate and put their members and community at risk.
Picente continued to remind people to remain vigilant when it comes to social distance. He asked people to avoid crowds, refrain from hosting house guests and to continue practicing proper hygiene. He reminded people that if they witness an employer or business not following the Governor's zero percent workforce order, they can file a report with the New York State Attorney General's office at 212-416-8700. There's also a web link to the Labor Department on the county's website.
There are now more than 37,000 positive coronavirus cases in New York State, significantly higher than any other U.S. state.
COVID-19 Coronavirus Numbers as of 3 p.m. March 26, 2020
|New Cases in Last 24-hours||1|
|New confirmed negative||16|
|Total people discharged from Quarantine||362|