Public Health & Nursing

By partnering with the family and community, Washington County Public Health Service has a commitment to maximize the quality of life for all – through intervention to eliminate the causes of poor health, education to improve health of families and the community and provision of support necessary to maintain a healthy Washington County.

Washington County Annex Building (click image for directions)

Washington County Annex Building

Public Health Reports

holiday hours

Thursday, December 23, 2021: 8:30am-12:00 pm

Friday, December 24, 2021:  Office Closed

Thursday, December 30, 2021:8:30am-12:00pm

Friday, December 31, 3021:Office Closed

happy holidays
Spread Joy not Germs 2021

What is Positive Case Isolation and Contact Quarantine?

Note: Washington County Public Health only accepts lab diagnosed COVID testing.  We do not accept home test results.  If you do a home test and it is positive, go get tested at a testing location.


A person that has tested positive for the COVID-19 Virus is called a “Case” and must go into Isolation.  

You can only leave isolation to seek medical treatment.  If you seek medical treatment, let them know you are positive for COVID before you go.

A Case is considered contagious/infectious 48 hours before symptoms started to 10 -14 days after symptoms started.

Anyone that the Case had close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) during their contagious/infectious period is called a “Contact.”

The Case will be interviewed by a Public Health Nurse, a Public Health Case Investigator, or a New York State Virtual Case Investigator to determine their isolation dates and how to identify their Contacts.

After the interview, the Case will be sent an Isolation letter by email.  It will have the dates of isolation listed.  (These dates are subject to change, depending on the case’s symptoms.)


Contacts quarantine to stop the spread of the virus further. Once you are exposed, it can take up to14 days to show symptoms yourself.  

You can only leave quarantine to seek medical treatment or COVID testing.  If you seek medical treatment or go for a COVID Test, let them know you were exposed COVID before you go.   

 You cannot test out of quarantine, but if you want to get tested, wait 5-7 days after last contact, or test sooner if you develop symptoms.  Quarantine dates may be adjusted if you have symptoms.

All Contacts of Washington County Cases are entered into the New York State Contact Tracing System.  (See  for Cases that do NOT live in Washington County)

A New York State Contact Tracer will call to do an interview.  The Contact Tracer will verify Date of Birth, Address, Phone numbers, email address, Emergency Contact, Health Care Provider and ask about Symptoms and preexisting health conditions.  If you miss their call, they will call back.

If the Contact does not live in Washington County, they will be transferred to the County they live in.

A Contact will Quarantine for at least 10 days past the last date of contact unless they have been fully vaccinated. (See Below*)

    Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. (See full list of COVID Symptoms at the end.)  Report any symptoms to NYS Contact Tracing and get tested at a testing location as soon as possible.  

    If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

Contacts that have symptoms: Should get tested at a testing location as soon as possible. Quarantine end date will be adjusted, depending on symptom start date and test results.  

*Contacts that are Fully Vaccinated: 

Vaccinated with No Symptoms: wear a mask at all times in public areas or in the presence of others (while not eating or drinking) for 14 days from their date of last exposure with the positive (including outside of work at any time while around others).  Testing is recommended 5-7 days after the exposure (in accordance with CDC guidance). 

Vaccinated with symptoms or if symptoms start: Report symptoms immediately to Public Health and get tested at a testing location as soon as possible.  You will be quarantined.  Dates will be adjusted, depending on symptom start date and test results.  

 Contacts: If the Cases does NOT live in Washington County:

When a Cases does not live in Washington County, their contacts will be entered into the New York State Contact Tracing System by the County/State where the Case lives.  The NYS Contact Tracers will call the Contact to do the interview.  Once the Contact’s address is verified as Washington County, the contact will be transferred to Washington County.  

Until the contact is transferred to Washington County, we cannot send quarantine letters.  The quarantine dates are determined by the Investigator in the Case’s County/State and we cannot adjust start dates. Quarantine End dates may be adjusted, based on symptoms and test results. 

COVID-19 Symptoms

Symptoms may appear up to14 days after exposure to the virus.  

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

See Scenario Charts below or click on  Scenario Charts for a PDF of the Diagrams of Example Isolation and Quarantines.

COVID Scenaro 1 Positive Case
COVID Scenario 2 Contact without Symptoms
COVID Scenario 3 Continuous Exposure
COVID Scenario 4 Contact with Symptoms
COVID Scenario 5 Contact is Vaccinated

How COVID-19 Vaccines Work

COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness.

Currently, there are three main types of COVID-19 vaccines that are available in the United States.

Learn more about How the COVID-19 Vaccines work at the CDC's page:

Use to find a location near you, then call or visit their website to make an appointment. Simply choose the type of vaccine you would like and enter your zip code. 

Click Image for PDF of Flyer

How MRNA Vaccines work

Click on Image for PDF of Flyer

How Vector Vaccines work
COVID Incupation period WHO

What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Click the link below to learn more:

When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated

To reduce the risk of being infected with the Delta and other variants and possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission, such as Washington County.

You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.

You should still get tested if you’ve had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 or if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

If you’ve had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 5-7 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. You should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.

If your test result is positive, isolate at home for 10 days.

You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace and local businesses.

Learn More Here:



V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that checks in on you after your COVID-19 vaccination. Your participation helps keep COVID-19 vaccines safe — for you and for everyone.

If you got vaccinated in the last 6 weeks, you can participate in v-safe!

It takes just a few minutes to register and get started. All you need is your smartphone and information about the COVID-19 vaccine you received. This information can be found on your vaccination record card. If you cannot find your card, please contact your healthcare provider.

Learn More:

Are you prepared if you have to quarantine? 

Make a plan for what you will do if your household is under quarantine.
How will you isolate from the rest of the household?
Do you have enough food and other supplies for 10-14 days? Who can get things for you if you can't go out? 
Do you know how to clean if someone in your home tests positive for COVID-19?
How will you get ready for the holidays if you can't go out? 

New York State Excelsior Pass

Excelsior Pass provides a free, fast and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results.

Visit the New York State Department o Health's Website to learn more:

COVID Testing

We have been getting a lot of calls lately asking for COVID testing sites.  

You can try your Primary Care Provider or check out NYSDOH's COVID Testing site page. You can search for sites near your zipcode.

Boiling Water and Emergency Disinfection

Information for Consumers

Boiling water is a very effective way to disinfect unsafe water and make it ready to drink, and the public may be directed to boil their water if a condition occurs that could contaminate drinking water with microbiological organisms. Boiling water sounds simple enough, but protecting yourself and your family can be more complicated than it first appears.

Basic Information for All Consumers

FAQ for Residents and Homeowners

Checklist for Residents and Homeowners (PDF, 155KB, 2pg)

Disinfecting Water at Home



2-1-1 is the one number to call to find or give help in Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, and Washington counties.

2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember telephone number to call for free and confidential community referral that connects callers with resources providing food, shelter, rent assistance, clothing, child care options and other types of community assistance. Trained referral specialists are multi-lingual and available to help individuals find the help they need.

Whatever the need, the 2-1-1 Call Center has the information and expertise to make the right connections.

New York State Office of Mental Health COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline  

Are you experiencing anxiety due to the coronavirus emergency? Office of Mental health is there to help.

OMH Call
NYS OASAS FP Profile pic

Addiction and Support

Addiction doesn’t take time off, and neither does the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS). If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to alcohol, substances, or gambling, treatment is available all across New York State. 

Smoking/vaping or the use of opioids or methamphetamines have an affect on your lungs.  Continued use can make some NYers more vulnerable if exposed to COVID-19.

Call New York State’s Hopeline at 1-877-846-7369. Text: 467369. 

The Hopeline is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. 

All calls are toll-free, anonymous and confidential. 

Hopeline staff can answer your questions and help you find treatment in your area. Information and resources are also available on their website:

Economic Development

The Economic Development has posted important information related to State and Federal business help during CV-19 on their web page:

Click Image for Full GetSetUp Flyer

GetSetUp Flyer Pic

Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative

The Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to providing free support services to caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Warren and Washington Counties is continuing to support and provide services to caregivers through alternative methods. Teleconferences, video chats, and telephone support are being offered for support groups, care consultations, and educational workshops.

Caregivers who are looking for support are encouraged to contact their Care Navigator for more information. Click here to visit the initiative’s website for a contact list.

Clinic cancelled until futher notice 4-2-2020

Although the Warren-Washington County STD Clinic is cancelled until further notice, you can still call Warren County at 518-761-6580 with STD related questions. 

We Have Safety Vests

Washington County Public Health has partnered with local EMS, Police and Fire Departments to provide Reflective Safety Vests to Washington County Residents.

You are more likely to be seen when wearing a reflector than any color clothing. (See Chart for Colors and distances.)

Click here to get the Safety Vest Program:Safety Vest Program Flyer

Visibility Graphic


ServNY is New York States’ standardized volunteer registration program for disasters, and public health emergencies. Its goal to help local Volunteer Coordinators and the State Volunteer Coordinator manage events and to eliminate issues that arise when mobilizing healthcare and nonhealthcare volunteers during an emergency response.

Licensed health care professionals willing to respond to a disaster—either locally, statewide, or across the nation—are strongly encouraged to register with ServNY.

Registering before the need arises is important, as credentials are verified upon registration and periodically thereafter. This helps to ensure that when a community needs extra hands, those hands are qualified to provide the appropriate care.

To register for ServNY, go  to Opens a New Window.
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Click Image below to go to ServNY