WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The nation is seeing some of its highest daily infection rates and here in the north we are seeing a similar trend.
The first week of November has brought high COVID-19 infection rates to the north country, with nearly 300 active cases across all three counties. almost a quarter of those cases are linked to the church in the town of New Bremen.
“Any time that you introduce that type of potential for the infection to spread, it is going to have a residual effect," said Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairman Scott Gray.
The state has already canceled the January regents exams. and All SUNY schools must submit a plan to test all students for COVID, at least 10 days before Thanksgiving break. SUNY officials in the north country say that’s not a problem.
“We at SUNY Potsdam have been testing all of our students, every other week anyway. And so, the chancellor’s request for us to test all of our students and have them get their results before they come back, really fits in nice to what we’ve already been doing," said Dr. Eric Duchscherer, the Interim Dean of Students at SUNY Potsdam.
The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe saw nearly 2 dozen positive cases.
Officials at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg said space in it’s hospital is not a concern just yet.
“We had to gear up to go to 150% capacity as needed. We’re not anywhere near capacity yet. But we do have cases and it does put stress on the organization, it does put stress on the employees," said Dr. Michael Seidman, Chief Medical Officer at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center.
And as we get closer to the winter months, health officials tell us that they expect cases to continue to rise, especially during the holiday season with large family gatherings potentially being a reason for more COVID-19 spread.