NY health officials identify places COVID-19 positive patient visited

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) Clinton County health officials say a local resident who tested positive for COVID-19 disregarded quarantine orders and visited a number of businesses while symptomatic.

Those locations include Beekmantown Central School, SUNY Plattsburgh, Sawatdee Restaurant, Koto Restaurant, Eclipse Gym, Hannaford and a taxi company. The person also made several trips to Walmart between 3/11 and 3/24 and that he used self-checkout.

The Clinton County Sheriff’s Department is investigating financial transactions to further track the movements of the man.

“This incident underscores the critical importance of staying home if ill, even if you have not been tested or do not believe you have COVID-19,” said Erin Streiff, the director of Health Care Services for the Clinton County Health Department. “It also represents the enormous challenge of containing a viral illness like COVID-19 without the full cooperation of the community.”

Health officials say being in the same location as someone with COVID-19 does not automatically put you at risk. The highest risk is associated with close and prolonged (less than 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) contact. Contact of shorter duration or interaction that is not close carries less risk. Having been in the same location without being near someone who is ill with COVID-19, poses a lower risk and is dependent on many factors.

“We understand that this information may be of limited comfort for those who fear they might have been exposed,” said Streiff. “We ask that anyone who experiences symptoms that include cough, fever or shortness of breath, consider themselves likely to have COVID-19. Then, take appropriate steps based upon your symptoms.”

The Clinton County Health Department has identified 14 positive cases including one inmate at the Clinton Correctional facility. There is additionally one probable case with a lab result of indeterminate. There are numerous suspect cases who are symptomatic but unable to be tested at this time due to the shortage of test kits. Four of the lab-confirmed cases have recovered. There have been 0 deaths to date.