COVID-19 Update 10/23/20

October 22, 2020

New York State remains among the lowest COVID-19 positivity rates in the nation. See all 50 states’ positivity rates on a 7-day rolling average here.  

Travel Advisory Update

Unfortunately, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania have positivity rates above the percentage that requires a 14-day quarantine. The New York State Department of Health understands that quarantine may not be practical when returning from these states due to our interconnectedness, but travel to these states is strongly discouraged. All states included in New York State’s COVID-19 travel advisory require a 14 day quarantine period. The list changes frequently and is accessible here

Take these simple steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home, especially if you are sick. 
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from other people, even if you are wearing a face covering. 
  • Practice healthy hand hygiene and sneeze and cough etiquette.

Upcoming Holiday Safety Tips

As the weather changes and we enter the holiday season, friends and families may want to get together. Please remain vigilant and continue to adhere to the necessary safety measures to reduce COVID-19 infections. 

Many traditional Halloween activities are a high risk for spreading the virus. If you are sick or have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please carefully consider lower-risk activities. 

Halloween can be enjoyed safely by:

  • Carving pumpkins with members of your household inside or outside while social distancing with friends. 
  • Decorating the inside or outside of your home.
  • Participating in a Virtual Halloween costume contest.
  • Organizing a scavenger hunt inside or outside your home while social distancing.

You can enjoy Día de Los Muertos festivities in safer, alternative ways such as virtual events. In-person Día de Los Muertos festivities should be avoided, especially for those who may be sick or recently exposed to someone with COVID-19. 

Below are a few alternative ideas:

  • Traditional family recipes can be prepared and delivered to family and neighbors in ways that do not involve contact with others. 
  • Play music in your home that your deceased loved one once enjoyed.
  • Decorate masks in small groups while social distancing.
  • Have a virtual get-together celebration or vigil.

Mental Health Concerns

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we need to manage our stress and anxiety. Fear about this disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in both adults and children. Social distancing may keep us safe, but it can increase feelings of loneliness and isolation. Stress can cause many symptoms and issues such as:

  • Fear and worry about your health and the health of your loved ones
  • Concern for your financial situation
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Worsening health issues, including mental health conditions
  • Increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other substances

Emergency Resources

If you feel that you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please get help right away:

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