Corning Inc. employee tests negative for Coronavirus; company restricting travel to China

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CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – The Steuben County Health Department has confirmed with 18 News that one person was tested for the coronavirus at Corning Hospital and came back with negative results.

A source tells 18 News that the patient is an employee at Corning Inc.

Corning Inc. employs a number of Chinese nationals both overseas and at their global headquarters in Steuben County.

Corning Inc. company spokesman Joseph Dunning tells our media partner The Leader that they’re not aware of the person’s identity.

“We are not privy to that information due to health privacy laws,” Dunning told The Leader.

“The safety and health of our employees, and that of their families, is of utmost importance to us,” he said. “We are in close communication with our employees in Wuhan and in other regions of China. We are engaging with governments and health-service organizations to monitor and address the situation as it evolves. We have an active response team working around the clock on this rapidly evolving situation and are following all recommendations from the [CDC].”

Dunning tells The Leader that those recommendations include monitoring travel into and out of affected areas.

“We are restricting employee travel to China,” Dunning said. “We have also initiated limited isolation periods for employees upon return to the United States as an added precaution.”

Steuben County Department of Health Director Darlene Smith tells 18 News the patient visited the Wuhan region and came back on Jan. 20 when they began to feel symptoms of the virus.

Negative results for the virus came back to the department on Jan. 24 from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta.

Smith says “there was not necessarily a reason to” tell the public that a patient was being tested “at the time.”

This comes two days after Broome County, NY had a scare about two suspected cases of the virus. Those test results also came back negative.

No cases have been confirmed in New York State after the results for seven people came back negative at the CDC. Three more results are still pending.

The Coronavirus has affected over 4,500 people and there have been over a hundred deaths globally. Symptoms of the novel coronavirus may include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever

This is a developing story so stick with 18 News for the latest details.

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