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Malone nursing home worker tests positive for COVID-19

MALONE — An employee at the Alice Center has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

The news came later in the same day the number of active cases of the virus in Franklin County had dropped back to zero.

“On Wednesday morning, we became aware that an employee at The Alice Center had tested positive for COVID-19,” Susan Biondolillo, the Alice Hyde Medical Center’s associate vice president of long term care, said in a statement. “In response, we notified the employee, who is asymptomatic and self-quarantining at home; every Alice Center employee; and, as per New York State Department of Health guidelines, all residents and their primary contact persons.”

AHMC spokesman Phillip Rau said, once learning of the positive test, hospital staff moved quickly and worked throughout the day Wednesday to test employees at The Alice Center. Most employee testing is expected to be completed today, with testing of residents completed by the end of the day as well, he said.

“We are doing everything possible to protect the health and safety of our residents and employees, including performing COVID-19 testing on all Alice Center employees; and are working with our residents and their primary contact persons to perform additional COVID-19 testing on residents,” Biondolillo said. “In addition to being proactive in our response, we also want to ensure that residents’ families have access to the latest information and understand all the steps we are taking to ensure the health and safety of their loved one during this time, and are connecting one-on-one with them so that we can answer their questions and concerns as well as share our plans and procedures.”

The Alice Center employee is the second nursing home worker in the county to receive a positive test for the virus. An employee at the Mercy Living Center in Tupper Lake had initially tested positive at the start of the month, but a subsequent test came back negative.

An executive order issued by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last required all nursing home staff members to be tested at least twice weekly, but a significant decline in positive results prompted the governor last week to reduce that requirement to once a week.

The positive test at The Alice Center came shortly after County Manager Donna Kissane had announced the two active cases of the virus in the county had been resolved.

“(W)e received revocation on 2 recent positives following a 3rd test administration at a different test site from the previous testing location,” Kissane wrote in her daily briefing email Wednesday morning. “The first test was positive and the subsequent tests that followed were negative.”

The number of people who have been diagnosed with the virus but have either not been tested or received their test results remained at 98, where it has been since Saturday. The number in isolation or quarantine had fallen to eight from 11 the previous day, but the number does not include The Alice Center employee.

A total of tests administered in the county rose from 7,759 on Tuesday to 7,811 on Wednesday.

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