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COVID jump in Franklin County

39 new cases Friday; 25 new in Essex Co.

Coronavirus (Image provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Franklin County Public Health reported a spike in COVID-19 cases on Friday.

Thirty-nine new cases of COVID-19 were identified between Thursday and Friday. That is abnormally high for this rural county, which has recently reported around 20 new cases each day. The new cases bring the total number of active cases countywide to 195.

The county reported a 6.04% test positivity rate on Friday and a 6.36% seven-day average test positivity rate.

Franklin County Manager Donna Kissane attributed the new cases to clusters in prisons, pre-surgery tests and community spread, meaning people who test positive without a known exposure to another positive case.

“Adhering to the best practices in the best defense to reduce the spread of the virus,” she wrote in her daily email.

The county also reported that 21 COVID-positive residents have recently recovered.

In neighboring Essex County, 25 new cases of COVID-19 were identified on Friday, bringing the total number of active cases countywide to 143.

Of those, 22 are in the town of North Elba, which includes the village of Lake Placid, part of the village of Saranac Lake and the hamlet of Ray Brook. There are 16 cases in Jay, two in Keene and two in Wilmington.

Twelve people are hospitalized with COVID-19 throughout Essex County. Franklin County did not report a hospitalization number.

Willsboro senior home

The Essex County Health Department alerted residents on Thursday that five people living at the Champlain Valley Senior Community in Willsboro have tested positive for COVID-19. Since the beginning of the year, the assisted-living facility has reported 13 positive cases: six in staff and seven in residents.

The facility is conducting twice-weekly testing of all staff and residents, has suspended visitation, and plans to quarantine all residents until the community there is free of positive cases, according to the health department.

Vaccines

A coronavirus vaccine clinic hosted by the state Department of Health is opening up for appointments in Plattsburgh next week. An appointment is required to receive a vaccine.

With access now open to a wider group of people statewide, more than 7 million New Yorkers are now eligible to get vaccinated. To find out if you’re eligible, try visting https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov or calling 1-833-697-4829.

Many Tri-Lakes residents who have tried to make an appointment have told the Enterprise they haven’t been able to, whether because of website errors or appointments apparently being unavailable.

The state has a limited allotment of vaccines available. The federal government controls how many doses each state receives, and as of Friday, New York was receiving about 300,000 doses each week. Next week, the state is expected to receive fewer doses — 250,000, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The state had administered about 74% of its current vaccine supply as of Friday, according to Cuomo.

Not every person who was eligible in the first phase of the state’s vaccine rollout plan has been able to get vaccinated yet, though according to Cuomo, about 96% of nursing home residents statewide — who were eligible to be vaccinated in the first phase — have received their first dose as of Friday.

(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article included a statistic reported by Franklin County Public Health that the department later corrected. The county saw a 6.04% test positivity rate on Friday, not a 56% test positivity rate.)

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