Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Take action to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 based on the COVID-19 Community Level in Ontario County



Updated Isolation and Quarantine

Positive for COVID-19?

You will NOT receive a call from a case investigator or contact tracer. 

  • Residents may continue to report positive home tests, but the health department will NOT be interviewing these individuals.
  • For positive COVID-19 cases, isolations will continue to be 5-days with an additional 5-days of masking. More information for COVID-19 cases: 
    • NYSDOH Isolation and Quarantine Instructions 
    • If you are too ill to return to school or work after 5-days call your healthcare provider for advice and paperwork. You will not be contacted by public health to determine if your isolation should be extended. You will not receive release orders from the health department.

In close contact with a person that tested positive for COVID-19?

Key times to get tested:

  • If you have symptoms, test immediately.
  • If you were exposed to COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, wait at least 5 full days after your exposure before testing. If you test too early, you may be more likely to get an inaccurate result.
  • Consider testing before contact with someone at high risk for severe COVID-19, especially if you are in an area with a medium or high COVID-19 Community Level.
  • Visit the CDC Website for COVID-19 Testing Information

For guidance on using tests to determine which mitigations are recommended as you recover from COVID-19, go to Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19.

Other helpful sites:

Ontario County COVID-19 Data

Through out the pandemic, Ontario County Public Health published COVID-19 case data. Data included confirmed cases of COVID-19 (count of positive diagnostic tests), number of new cases for both lab testing and home testing, number of hospitalized cases and the number of deaths. Ontario County Public Health only reported data on our residents. Join us on our Facebook page for weekly COVID-19 updates.

Two Years of COVID-19

On March 13, 2020 the first Ontario County resident was diagnosed with COVID-19. As we look back over two years, we're happy things are slowly getting back to normal but the loss of 191 residents still stings. Reporting a number doesn't adequately reflect the absence of friends and family members we've lost.

The slideshow below provides COVID-19 data sets March 13, 2020-May 15, 2022. Thanks for getting vaccinated and for taking other precautions to keep those around you well. 

(Update 5/17/2022) 

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Thoughts from your Health Educator:

Please consider the 3’D’s. Please think about the 3’D’s (Density- Duration- Distance) prior to traveling. In addition, think about your own personal risk and the risk of others that you have or will have contact with in the next 14 days. Consider the following:

  • Density: How many people will be participating in the same mode of travel (plane, train or automobile)? What are your over-night accommodations?  Planning on attending events with more than 50 people?
  • Duration: How long will you be exposed to others? Will others be masked? Will you be masked?
  • Distance: Will you be able to maintain a 6-feet distance from others?

(Updated 9/26/2022)

An Overview of Coronavirus COVID-19

What is Coronavirus- COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A newly identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness now called COVID-19. Because the virus is new we call it a "novel" virus. There currently is no vaccine to prevent an infection of COVID-19. Because COVID-19 is caused by a virus a standard antibiotic will not prevent or treat COVID-19 deasease. 

How is COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 can be passed from person-to-person through droplets from coughs and sneezes. COVID-19 has been detected in people all over the world, and is considered a pandemic.

The spread of this new coronavirus is being monitored by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization and health organizations like Johns Hopkins across the globe.

How did this new coronavirus spread to humans?

COVID-19 appeared in Wuhan, a city in China, in December 2019. Although health officials are still tracing the exact source of this (new) novel coronavirus, early hypotheses thought it may be linked to a seafood market in Wuhan, China. Some people who visited the market developed viral pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus. A study that came out on Jan. 25, 2020, notes that the individual with the first reported case became ill on Dec. 1, 2019, and had no link to the seafood market. Investigations are ongoing as to how this virus originated and spread. 

What is the incubation period for COVID-19?

Symptoms typically develop within 14 days of exposure to the virus.

What are symptoms of COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

In rare cases, COVID-19 can lead to severe respiratory problems, kidney failure or death.

We have a lot to learn about COVID-19.

Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, it appeared that the primary risk of death from the disease was severe pneumonia followed by a cytokine storm (an inflammatory response). We continue to learn more about COVID-19 each week. Patients sickened with COVID-19 seem to be at a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes caused by blood clots. Blood clots appear to be the cause of death in some younger patients under the age of 50. Knowing the symptoms of stroke and heart attack could save your life. 

Stroke Symptoms

For strokes, remember the word F.A.S.T. Stroke Symptoms may include Facial droop, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty and Time to call 9-1-1. If you think you are having a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately. The earlier you can get care the better the outcome. 

Heart Attack Symptoms

Call 9-1-1 immediately if you have the following symptoms:

Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

SHORTNESS OF BREATH With or Without Chest Discomfort

Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or dizziness.

COVID-19 information from John's Hopkins Medicine 

American Health Association

(Updated 9/26/2022)

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to monitor a pandemic of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The first case in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020.  

What is a Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people; numerous other coronaviruses circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such as has been seen with Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus.

Coronavirus can cause viral respiratory illness. If you have a fever (over 1010 F) and symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing) call your healthcare provider. (Two strains of influenza and Respiratory Syntactical Virus (RSV) are also circulating. Fever and cough does not mean you have a coronavirus.)  Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have these symptoms and if you have if you have had contact with someone sick from COVID-19.

Learn more about people who are at higher risk for complications from COVID-19: 


Both home and healthcare provider testing is available. A COVID-19 diagnosis should be based on a positive COVID-19 test. 

Healthcare Guidance

New York State Department of Health: Information for healthcare providers: 


New York State Department of Health has established a call center to answer questions pertaining to the Coronavirus. 

(Updated 9/26/2022)

First Case of COVID-19 Confirmed in Ontario County

Press Conference Held

A press conference wasMary Press Conference held at the Ontario County Emergency Management, Safety Training Facility this morning where Mary Beer RN, MPH, Director of Public Health confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in an Ontario Count resident. 

Mary Beer stated that she was notified of the positive COVID-19 case in the evening hours on 3/15/2020 from the New York State Epidemiologist. Mary confirmed that the resident is employed at the Friendly Home in Brighton which is a nursing home. Per Mary Beer, the resident had no patient contact at the Friendly Home. Monroe County Health Department is working with the Friendly Home to investigate any potential contacts. Ontario County Public Health is investigating and monitoring the mandatory quarantine. 

The first case in Ontario County is believed to be a case of travel acquired COVID-19. The resident came home from Florida and felt symptoms four days later. The resident was tested and self-quarantined while the test was pending (per regulation). The swab was sent to Erie County Lab were the test results were deemed positive. The resident and spouse are under mandated quarantine by order of Public Health. The resident is recovering well an being monitored daily by Ontario County Public Health. 


Two Ontario County Residents Died of COVID-19

Both Patients Associated with the Ontario Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare

It is with a heavy heart, the Ontario County Public Health Department has received confirmation of two COVID-19 deaths. Both individuals were being cared for at the Ontario Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare.

One of the individuals had tested positive for COVID-19 and was being monitored.  He passed away suddenly at UR FF Thompson Health. The other individual was very ill and comfort care was being provided at the Ontario Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare.

“News of Ontario County residents dying of COVID-19 is absolutely heartbreaking,” said Public Health Director, Mary Beer. “We extend our deepest sympathy to their family, their loved ones and the staff at the Ontario Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare.”

Both deaths are associated with a disease outbreak at the Ontario Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare. Ontario County Public Health and New York State Department of Health continue to work with the Ontario Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare during this outbreak to minimize spread of COVID-19 infection.

Social distancing remains the most important prevention method at this time. All residents should continue to stay home and monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath and contact their healthcare provider for instructions if feeling ill. 

(Updated 4/11/2020)