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Essex County COVID cluster delays return to school, closes visitation at hospital and nursing homes

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 8:01 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 27, 2020 at 8:54 AM EDT
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ELIZABETHTOWN, N.Y. (WCAX) - Changes are underway in Essex County, New York, to contain a coronavirus outbreak.

The Boquet Valley Central School District will now begin the school year with a fully remote model for all students until October 5th. Students were expected back in the classroom on September 3rd. And Visits to the Elizabethtown Community Hospital and all nursing home facilities in Essex County are being temporarily suspended.

This comes after a recent outbreak at the Essex Center which has infected nearly three dozen residents. On Tuesday, they reported the fourth death of a resident. There are now 33 residents infected. Two more staff members have tested positive, bringing the total number of staff to 28. Five of them have recovered. One person connected to a staff member also tested positive.

Beyond the outbreak, there are 22 active cases in Essex County.

Hospital officials say they have been working with the Essex Center and the health department to monitor the outbreak and limit the spread in the community.

Elizabethtown Community Hospital has temporarily suspended visitation. The health and safety of our patients, staff, and...

Posted by University of Vermont Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Essex County Board of Supervisors Tuesday also requested that all nursing homes in the county suspend visitation and sent letters to facilities in Lake Placid, Elizabethtown, Ticonderoga, Willsboro, Keene and Saranac Lake.

There will be a press conference to update the community on the Essex Center outbreak Thursday afternoon.

Several New York health leaders will take part, including the Essex County Health Department.

WCAX will follow up at the meeting starting at 1 p.m. and bring you the latest on the Channel 3 Evening News.

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