County COVID cases decline

MALONE –– After two days when there had been a lone active case of COVID-19 in Franklin County, the county’s numbers rose to three on Tuesday when two new positive tests were reported late Monday.

The new results bring the county’s total back to where it had last been on Friday, before a weekend slide brought the number down to one.

Despite the increase, the number of people in isolation or quarantine remained at 41 for a fourth straight day, County Manager Donna Kissane reported in her daily briefing email on Tuesday morning.

The sole active case before the late-Monday additions was located in the town of Harrietstown, where the number of people in quarantine or isolation rose from five to eight, according to a graphic by the North Country Crime Analysis Center based on numbers verified by Franklin County Public Health Services that shows the town-by-town breakdown of sequesters and active cases. The graphic did not show the locations of the two new cases.

Increases in sequesters were also reported in the towns of Santa Clara, Brighton, Franklin, Brandon, Westville and Akwesasne, while the towns of Chateaugay, Moira, Malone, Bellmont and Tupper Lake saw their numbers decrease.

In the St. Regis Falls Central School District, Superintendent Tim Seymour announced that in-person learning would return beginning today after being suspended Thursday because the district could not meet a new state Department of Health mandate that all test results be reported within 48 hours. District officials said the lack of available tests made meeting that requirement impossible.

Although students will once again be able to attend classes, the district has dropped its original plan to offer in-person instruction five days a week. Instead, the district has adopted a new hybrid schedule under which students will receive remote instruction on Fridays.

“We are working with the Department of Health to do everything in our power to safely remain open for in-person learning,” Seymour said in a letter to parents issued Tuesday. “Additionally, the District will continue to vocalize the need for wide distribution of rapid CoVID-19 tests to our State and Regional leaders. Regional advocacy for the health and wellbeing of North Country residents has never been more vital than at this time.

“The lack of consistency in schedules and planning for students, staff, and families is a truly tragic byproduct of the CoVID-19 pandemic. The District will continue to respond to changes and matters that impact the school-community as promptly and transparently as possible,” Seymour wrote.

None of the seven school districts in Franklin County have so far reported any active cases of the virus among students, faculty or staff.

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