WATERLOO – As of Monday afternoon, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Seneca County is at eight.

With that, the county Health Department said it has made a decision to protect the privacy of residents and patients and following the lead of other area counties will not disclose where the five cases reside or their status.

“We understand there is a lot of anxiety about not knowing where cases reside or where cases may have been in our community,” said Vicki Swinehart, public health director. “This is understandable as these are uncertain times.”

But she said the county will keep the information private so it does not convey the message that one community is safer than another “because all of our communities are at risk for COVID-19 exposure.”

Swinehart stressed that the virus can be transmitted by people who are not showing symptoms. She said this means “we must act as if everyone in our community could potentially have the virus.”

“Our staff actively conducts contact investigations to identify close contacts of individuals confirmed with COVID-19. Close or proximate contacts are identified and notified of their exposure by the health department,” Swinehart said. The close contacts are then issued an order of quarantine and are actively monitored for symptoms.

She said the five confirmed cases have not resulted in identifiable risk to the greater community.

For information about the virus in Seneca County, call the Health Department at (315) 539-1920, send an email to or visit

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