WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The number of people testing positive COVID-19 in the north country climbed to 8 on Thursday.
Jefferson County said it now has 4 confirmed cases, while St. Lawrence County reported 4 of its residents have tested positive.
The Jefferson County residents are now in mandatory isolation by the county Public Health Service.
The 4 in St. Lawrence County have been isolated at home and are being monitored by the county Public Health Department.
One of the positive COVID-19 patients is a Samaritan Medical Center direct patient care employee. The staff member worked on Monday, March 23 and was screened before their shift with no symptoms present.
While working, the employee wore a mask at all times since they had been in contact with another hospital patient who was under isolation precautions. The staff member had contact with patients and staff members during their shift.
The employee's symptoms began on March 25 and they were tested then.
Officials said it's their understanding the staff member recently traveled to Long Island.
The county Public Health Service is determining who the individual was in contact with to establish daily monitoring protocols.
Staff at Samaritan Medical Center who were in contact with the employee will be screened every 12 hours and masked as a precautionary measure to help keep patients and other staff members healthy.
Any current hospital inpatient that was cared for by the employee will be put under precautionary isolation measures.
The Jefferson County Public Health Service will perform a comprehensive case investigation of any exposed patient that has been discharged from the hospital, any staff members that may have been exposed, and any other community contacts of the positive individual, and initiate the appropriate type of quarantine per individual.
Currently, there are 125 individuals in Jefferson County under precautionary quarantine.
As of Thursday, 130 people have tested negative in Jefferson County.
In St. Lawrence County, the Public Health Department is also contacting anyone who may have been in contact with the people with COVID-19 to determine whether quarantine or testing may be required.
St. Lawrence University reported Thursday that one of its employees has COVID-19.
Ogdensburg’s city manager wrote an open letter to the public about rumors that a city official tested positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Lewis County remains the only county in the north country with no confirmed COVID-19.
County Public Health officials reported Thursday morning that 59 people have been tested and 32 of those tests came back negative.
Officials are awaiting results for 27 others.
They said 33 people are under precautionary quarantine.
The county is telling visitors from the New York City area that they need to call public health upon arrival and that they will need to self-quarantine for 14 days.