51 people tested for COVID-19 at special site in Massena

Updated: Sep. 9, 2020 at 5:11 PM EDT
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MASSENA, N.Y. (WWNY) - There have been 22 COVID-19 cases in Massena in two weeks, putting more than 150 people at risk. Most of it came as the result of two outbreaks.

On Wednesday, the state came in to help establish a one-day special testing site for COVID-19. Three weeks ago, there were no active cases in Massena.

“We have recently identified a cluster of 22 cases. Our investigation is still ongoing but with the 22 cases in the community, we wanted to have a state testing site,” said Jolene Munger, St. Lawrence County Public Health Department deputy director.

County Legislature Chairman Joseph Lightfoot said the outbreak stems mainly from two known incidents of the disease. In turn, 150 people have been informed they may have had contact with the 22 since infected.

“It’s a lot of work and it puts a lot of pressure on the public health department, trying to track this down and make sure it doesn’t go any further,” he said.

One incident is a cluster at the New York Power Authority. The other spread started with a person known to have been at Coach’s Corner in Massena August 28. The county put out a potential exposure notice for the bar.

With this outbreak in Massena, health officials are continuing to emphasize the same things they have since the beginning: wear a mask, and maintain social distancing. Along with testing and contact tracing, those are the best ways to contain any outbreak.

The state testing site ran for 3 hours Wednesday at the Massena Community Center and 51 people were tested.

“We are just trying to stop the spread within the community before we have more cases,” said Munger.

People who want to be tested after Wednesday can go to testing sites run by local health systems and hospitals.

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