Massena again becomes hotspot for COVID in St. Lawrence County

Updated: Nov. 13, 2020 at 10:17 PM EST
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MASSENA, N.Y. (WWNY) - Massena is once again the hotspot in St. Lawrence County for COVID-19 cases. It’s changing things there fast. Is this what’s ahead for others?

You won’t see students again at Massena High School until at least November 23. Once again, learning has gone all-remote.

“We know when we make the decision to go all-remote, we’re immediately putting a great deal of pressure on our families and our community,” said Patrick Brady, district superintendent. “But we have to look at the health and safety overall.”

Leary Junior High has done the same. Three active cases were found there and two at the high school. But those have led to the quarantine of more than 100 students and 20 staff members.

“Every time that we have a positive case it’s not just about that person. It’s about how many people they came into contact with,” said Brady.

For 6 weeks, patrons could again browse the stacks at the Massena Public Library. Thursday it went back to curbside service only.

“It’s very disappointing. A public library should be a place teeming with people. We should have all kinds of programming going on. And we felt we were going in the right direction,” said Elaine Dunne, library director.

There are currently 21 active cases in the town of Massena. It’s part of countywide surge including more than 100 new cases in the last week. It worries cash-strapped towns.

“It very well could be a crisis situation. That’s why we’re continuing to watch our finances, budget. … Trying to keep the government functioning as well as possible,” said Steve O’Shaughnessy, Massena town supervisor.

So what happens next in Massena and in the rest of the towns across St. Lawrence County? Public health officials say it will all depend on what each of us does from here on in.

This is their mantra: wash hands, wear mask, social distance, stay local, and stay home if sick.

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