Franklin County quarantines spike

The number of people in quarantine in Franklin County spiked on Monday, one day after an employee of Mercy Living Center in Tupper Lake tested positive for COVID-19.

On Monday, the number of people in isolation or quarantine countywide increased from nine to 70, according to data provided by the county’s public information officer, county Manager Donna Kissane, who credited the spike to the nursing home case.

The data gives some insight into both the scale of the possible exposure at Mercy, as well as the speed of contact tracing operations at the nursing home, which is owned and operated by Adirondack Health.

Adirondack Health announced the positive case had been found at Mercy on Monday.

Matt Scollin, spokesman for Adirondack Health, wrote in a press release that all Mercy Living Center staff have been tested twice per week since May 10, as required by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order.

“It was a result from one of these routine tests that came back positive yesterday,” Scollin wrote Monday.

Scollin said Mercy staff acted “immediately” to notify all nursing home staff on duty, all residents and all residents’ families of the test. All residents were again tested for COVID-19.

“(Mercy) conducted targeted contact tracing … to identify any other Mercy Living Center staff who may have interacted with the positive employee outside of the workplace,” Scollin wrote.

Countywide, there were four active cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Franklin County as of Tuesday, three more than the county had five days ago. The county has reported a total of 19 test-confirmed and 95 suspected cases of COVID-19 since March. At least 110 people in Franklin County have recovered from COVID-19. Since March, 4,852 COVID-19 and coronavirus antibody tests from Franklin County have been processed, as of Tuesday.

In neighboring Essex County, there was just one active case of COVID-19 as of Monday. The total number of test-confirmed cases reported by the county since March was 38 as of Monday, with an additional 15 suspected cases since March. At least 49 people in Essex County have recovered from COVID-19. Since March, 5,170 COVID-19 and coronavirus antibody tests from Essex County had been processed as of Tuesday.

Neither county has reported a COVID-19 fatality.

Local hospitals continue to conduct COVID-19 testing around the region.

Anyone who wants to be tested in this area is encouraged to call their primary care physician to get a health order for testing. Call Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake at 518-897-2462 to schedule an appointment at the main clinic or one of its upcoming mobile testing sites. Elizabethtown Community Hospital can be reached at 518-873-3069. Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone can be reached at 518-481-2700. Mountain Medical Urgent Care, with offices in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, can be reached at 518-897-1000. The statewide COVID-19 hotline is 1-888-364-3065.


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