Knowing the difference between contact and community spread of COVID-19

Local News

A new case of COVID-19 was reported in Erie County earlier today.

The County Executive confirmed the fourth positive COVID-19 case adding three of the cases are connected by contact spread.

We spoke to Dr. Wayne Jones of Saint Vincent about what contact spread is and how you can take the precautions yourself during this pandemic.

Three of the four cases reported involve people in their 30’s while only one case is a person in their 20’s.

County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper said that this is the fourth case and was through contact spread. Dahlkemper believes this was not apart of community spread.

“This is not a case of community acquired spread, but a case of contact spread,” said Dahlkemper.

Dahlkemper added cases one, three and four were connected to one another through contact spread. These individuals however are not family members.

Dr. Wayne Jones of Saint Vincent Hospital tells us contact spread comes from a person you have been in close proximity with.

“It may be from person to person. It maybe objects, so it’s a contact spread if someone coughs in their hand and they touch a shopping cart, you then touch your face and transmit the virus,” said Dr. Jones.

Dr. Jones added community spreads does differ through each disease, but primarily occurs when a person interacts with other people at a social gathering or an event.

The main difference between community spread and contact spread is the distance between you and another person. There are precautions you can take to make sure you’re staying healthy.

“Well if you are sick, stay home and don’t try to spread it among other people. If you’re out and you are coughing, cough into your elbow not into your hand because if you cough into your hand and touch something and someone else touches something they may contact it,” said Dr. Jones.

County Executive added that it is important to follow Governor Wolf’s “Stay at Home Order” to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“I urge all of us to keep social distancing, cause as you know social distancing is the best way to avoid having community spread,” said Dahlkemper.

Dahlkemper added that the health department is contacting a group of ten that may have come into contact with the affected person.

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