MALONE –– After an up-and-down weekend for the number of active cases of COVID-19 in Franklin County, the number stabilized at three on Monday
The number of cases had begun the weekend rising from three on Friday to four on Saturday before dropping back to three on Sunday. That number remained constant on Monday, County Manager Donna Kissane said in her daily briefing email.
Kissane on Saturday had noted that some of the recent cases involved people who were not exhibiting signs of the virus. On Monday, she pointed out that a large percentage of people who have the virus do not show symptoms.
“A recent summary of the latest data by the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) shows that about two-thirds of the COVID-19 transmissions in the U.S. come from people not showing symptoms – either because their cases are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic,” she wrote. “According to the CDC, this “underscores the importance of social distancing, including the avoidance of congregate settings, to reduce COVID-19 spread.
“Please consider that everyone you meet might be positive and not be aware. Maintain social physical distancing, wear face coverings, wash hands regularly, avoid touching eyes and nose with uncleansed hands and sanitize,” she wrote.
While the number of active cases of the virus remained flat on Monday, the number of people in quarantine or isolation continued to decline, dropping by more than half. That number had been 198 on Thursday, falling to 124 on Friday, 99 on Saturday and Sunday and 45 on Monday, Kissane reported.
Despite the sizeable decrease in the number of quarantines or isolations, the number of locations where people were sequestered went down by just one, decreasing to 20, Kissane reported.
The highest number of people in quarantine or isolation is in Akwesasne, where one of the three active cases resides, according to a graphic updated Monday afternoon by the North Country Crime Analysis Center based on numbers verified by Franklin County Public Health Services. Akwesasne has 14 people in quarantine or isolation, down from 16 on Friday.
Tupper Lake, where the number had skyrocketed to 68 after an employee of the Mercy Living Center nursing home had tested positive for the virus, dropped to eight on Monday –– even though another of the county’s active cases is reported in the town.
Other towns also showed decreases, including Harrietstown (from seven to four), Malone (from six to five) and Bellmont (from seven to two). The number in Brighton remained at nine.
11 of the county’s 19 towns reported no one in quarantine or isolation.
U.S. Rep Elise Stefanik, R- Schuylerville, announced Monday that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is deploying a federal Task Force Strike Team to the Essex Center nursing home in Elizabethtown to provide on-site assistance to the facility. The team will help staff and management at the nursing home create a plan to reduce further transmission among residents, she said.
As of Friday, 11 residents of the facility had died of COVID-19 and a total of 102 people –– residents, staff and community members who had come in contact with staff –– had been diagnosed with the disease.