Two ORDA staff test positive

The Lake Placid Olympic Center is the headquarters of the New York State Olympic Regional development Authority. (Enterprise photo — Andy Flynn)

Two state Olympic Regional Development Authority staff have tested positive for COVID-19.

The staff members are now in isolation, and contact tracing has occurred, according to ORDA spokeswoman Elise Ruocco.

ORDA did not say where these staff members work — whether at one of its winter sports venues in Lake Placid, North Creek or Highmount in the Catskills, or at its offices in Lake Placid.

ORDA also did not say if the positive tests have affected operations at any of its venues, though it did say that operational adjustments would be made “as appropriate.”

The authority did say “additional staff members” were identified as close contacts of the two positive employees, though the authority did not say specifically how many staff members are in quarantine.

“Those individuals have been directed to remain at home, limit contact with others, and will be monitored daily by the county health departments where these individuals live,” Ruocco said in a statement. “Since the exposure was first identified, ORDA has taken proactive steps to support and protect staff including enhanced cleaning of all areas connected to the exposure, as well as providing notification and important information regarding COVID-19 protocols and guidance to all staff.”

Asked how many ORDA employees have tested positive for COVID-19 altogether, including non-recent cases, the authority did not provide that information.

Asked to confirm the number of cases among ORDA staff, Essex County Senior Public Health Educator Andrea Whitmarsh said the department generally doesn’t provide additional information about positive cases found at a businesses, unless it involves a congregate living or educational setting. It is treating ORDA, a state government authority, as it would a business.

As of Friday, there were 33 active cases of COVID-19 across Essex County, two new cases since Thursday. Of the active cases, 12 are located in the town of the town of North Elba, five in Jay, two in Wilmington and one in Keene. There are also cases in Crown Point, Elizabethtown, Lewis, Minerva, Schroon and Ticonderoga.

In neighboring Franklin County, the number of active cases countywide rose to 55 on Friday, three new cases since Thursday with seven cases recently resolved.


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