COVID-19 Thursday night: the numbers, how it’s affecting the north country

COVID-19 Thursday night: the numbers, how it’s affecting the north country
COVID-19 update (Source: WWNY)

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.

One of the people who tested positive is a Samaritan Medical Center direct patient care employee. Another is a St. Lawrence University employee.

Meanwhile, Lewis County remains the only county in the north country with no confirmed COVID-19.

New York continues to lead the nation in the number of cases.

The state’s death toll due to the coronavirus now stands at 385. That’s out of more than 37,000 confirmed cases.

The economic effects are record-breaking due to the shutdown of many businesses.

National jobless claims for last week reached 3.3 million. The previous all-time high was 695,000 set in 1982.

Local officials at The WorkPlace of Jefferson County believe unemployment rates could hit 20 to 30 percent locally.

We spoke with some of the people who went from having jobs to becoming suddenly unemployed.

A meeting Thursday brought together local, regional and state business and economic leaders to form the Jefferson County Economic Development Recovery Team.

Traffic on north country bridges linked to Canada is down dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This as the Trump administration is reportedly considering whether to deploy troops to intercept anyone trying to enter the U.S. illegally from Canada.

The news wasn’t all bad Thursday. The Great Lakes Cheese processing plant in Adams is hiring 20 new employees so production can continue as normal.

Mechanics and plumbers are hard at work and taking precautions.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation said it’s now delaying enforcement of the ban on plastic bags until May 15. It’s sort of, but not directly, related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

And, nursing homes have put up visitor restrictions, but that hasn’t stopped a husband from seeing his wife at Watertown’s Samaritan Keep Home. The look through the lobby glass as they talk to each other on their cell phones.

Plus, communities are holding parades for youngsters who have celebrated birthdays, but can’t have parties with their friends.

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