Many rural communities across the state are seeing low impact from the coronavirus, thanks to social distancing measures and one of those are in Mayfield. All of Fulton County has just one positive confirmed case of coronavirus so far and local leaders say they want to keep it that way.

​Mayfield Mayor Jamie Ward and Fulton County Sheriff Rich Giardino say they want to keep COVID-19 positive patients in hospitals where they live, while accepting healthier patients, such as those receiving long-term care or who have a scheduled C-section, for instance, to upstate hospitals instead.

"It makes more sense to me in keeping with the governor's statements to contain the positive tests to New York City," Giardino said.

In a now-viral Facebook post from Saturday, Giardino shared this idea, asking people to comment and share, as well as call their local lawmakers about the issue, but was met with some resistance. He says it's not that he doesn't want to help, or isn't being compassionate, he just wants to make sure people in Fulton County stay safe.

"My dad was a pediatrician in a small town that served 20,000 people," Giardino said. "So my intent is to protect our healthcare workers from being carriers and spreading it to their families and their community and to remember we still have a need for our rural hospitals to serve our own communities first."

And Giardino doesn't want to take full credit, he says, Mayfield Mayor Jamie Ward also pitched this idea. Ward says one healthcare worker getting infected could potentially cripple the entire hospital staff and wreak havoc on the community.

"In a small community where you have a healthcare worker or a nurse that then leaves work, goes to the market, our markets are much smaller, goes to the local convenience store, goes to the gas pump and spread something and they don't know. It would be a matter of days before this county or any county of this size upstate would be overwhelmed," Ward said.

The other concern upstate both Giardino and Ward have is for those coming from downstate and not self-quarantining when they get here. They say, you're welcome in your summer home, but once you get here, you need to stay put for two weeks. Ward says it's also important to try to get everything you need before you arrive.

"Days before, get on Amazon have a drop-ship order on your porch ahead of time," Ward said. "Having preordered supplies or groceries or bringing them from your main home or market you would shop at from your main home, bring all those supplies with you."

Ward says gas up your car where ever you're coming from and fill prescriptions ahead of time too, so there is no reason to have to leave once you arrive.

"You're coming to an area that's a little less of a risk, don't bring that risk with you," Ward said.

Both Giardino and Ward say it seems like bringing COVID-19+ patients upstate would be the last resort, but either way, they hope Gov. Andrew Cuomo will consider what they're proposing.

As for getting supplies if you're already in a place with a lower rate of infection, Ward says to ask a neighbor who is healthy to get supplies or groceries for you, leave them at your door and offer to Venmo the money to them.

And if you're in Mayfield, there's a Facebook group called Mayfield Helping Neighbors where people can offer and provide assistance for each other.