Niagara County Public Health Director speaks to Legislature, Seven in quarantine, Zero in isolation

“I’m still happy to report that Niagara County does not have a positive case of Coronavirus,” Health Director Daniel Stapleton announced to the Niagara County Legislature this week.

Stapleton did report that seven individuals are currently in the process of a 14-day quarantine upon returning from parts of the world flagged as high-risk. 

For the sake of clarification, a quarantine is the process of placing someone away from others because they could have transmitted the disease due to being in an area of high-risk; whereas, isolation is the process of putting someone away from others when they are confirmed to have the disease in question.  Currently, Niagara County has no one in isolation for the Coronavirus.

Detailing this new strain of Coronavirus and its growing transmission across the United States, Stapleton discussed how the virus works and effective ways to curb its growth, “This is not airborne.”  He stated, adding, “This is a disease that travels through droplets.  It doesn’t stay in the air for two hours like Measles, which is a good thing.” 

Basically, if you cough on something, the living virus will remain on that surface, which is where transmission occurs.  This leaves objects such as doorknobs or microphones as good examples of transferable surfaces. 

Whether you cough directly onto an object, or into your hand and then touch an object, the virus will often find itself on that object for some time after.  (How long is still debated, cannot yet give an overwhelmingly verified estimate.)

Stapleton’s suggested best method for preventing transmission until a vaccine is available, “Twenty seconds of washing your hands is the single best way to stop the spread of this virus.” 

Stapleton estimates a vaccine will be available in approximately 18 months, as the virus was only first identified by the World Health Organization on December 31st, 2019.