Oswego County Health Department announces potential exposure of COVID-19 at Kinney Drugs in Pulaski

PULASKI, NY – The Oswego County Health Department is investigating a confirmed case of COVID-19 in an employee of Kinney’s Pharmacy located at 3873 Rome Rd., Pulaski. Members of the public who visited the store Thursday, March 26 after 9 a.m. may have been exposed.

Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said anyone who visited the store after 9 a.m. March 26 should watch for COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or gastrointestinal illness for 14 days after visiting the store, until April 9.

The County Health Department is working closely with the New York State Department of Health in the investigation. The County Health Department has reached out to notify all known contacts of the infected individual.

People experiencing symptoms should call their health care provider from home or the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330. People should not go to urgent care or emergency departments unless they are experiencing life-threatening symptoms.

“The location was made public because our investigation shows there is a possibility of exposure to members of the public. We must balance public safety with protecting the privacy of infected individuals who have done nothing wrong,” said Legislature Chairman James Weatherup. “This is consistent with our policy of notifying the public when investigations of positive cases determine there is a possibility that others may have become infected, and this is consistent with procedures followed by our neighboring counties.”

“Our thoughts are with our associate, and we are doing everything we can to protect all of our employees and customers. We have been cleaning and sanitizing our stores according to CDC guidelines. We are in close contact with the Oswego County Health Department and continue to follow their guidance and all guidance of the CDC,” said Judith R. Cowden, spokesperson for Kinney Drugs.

Oswego County officials said it is imperative to practice social distancing and take personal responsibility for preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“This disease is everywhere,” said Chairman Weatherup. “It doesn’t matter how many people in your community have tested positive, or how many people in the next town over have tested positive. It doesn’t matter where you live or how old you are. If you don’t social distance, it will spread.”

Huang echoed Chairman Weatherup’s remarks.

“Social distancing will help reduce the spread of the virus and limit your chance of exposure,” said Huang. That’s why it is so important that we all follow the crucial measures I’ve outlined below.”

  • Stay home as much as possible. Minimize shopping trips.

  • Avoid non-essential gatherings of all types and sizes. All non-essential gatherings of any size are banned.

  • Keep six feet from other people.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Stay home if you are sick.

  • Call your healthcare provider from home if you are experiencing symptoms such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath.

  • Do not go to urgent care or an emergency department unless you are experiencing life-threatening conditions.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Residents are advised to continue monitoring reliable sources of information. Go to health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19 for the latest news releases, daily updates, and video presentations or visit oswegocounty.com or health.ny.gov or cdc.gov.

Oswego County presents videos highlighting various COVID-19 topics on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They are scheduled to be posted by 4:30 p.m. on Oswego County’s COVID-19 YouTube playlist, Facebook and the county government website at oswegocounty.com.

Additional questions can be directed to the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330 or the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065. For more information about emotional supports, visit the Oswego County Department of Social Services Division of Mental Hygiene at www.oswegocounty.com/mentalhygiene.