When it comes to COVID cases, local officials warn the worst may be yet to come

WWNY When it comes to COVID cases, local officials warn the worst may be yet to come

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Local officials are warning the worst may be yet to come. They’re saying a peak in COVID cases could be weeks away - maybe into February.

Coronavirus cases are on the rise in the North Country, and according to a state model, the peak is nowhere in sight. Jefferson County officials are telling people to brace themselves for the months ahead.

“We were told this morning that our peak is not projected until February. The message that was shared this morning is, it was clear. Strap yourself in, this is going to be a long haul,” said Scott Gray, Jefferson County Board of Legislators chair.

Jefferson County Public Health Service has been monitoring Watertown’s wastewater for COVID since the summer. A sample taken on Tuesday found that there is a significant presence of the virus in the wastewater. Health officials say there are more positive cases out there.

“It’s people having COVID and not knowing it and that’s in the wastewater too and enough to make a significant reading like we just received,” said Jefferson County Public Health Planner Stephen Jennings.

Governor Cuomo said on a conference call Thursday he won’t be surprised by a peak in cases after Thanksgiving.

“If I had to predict, you’re going to see a significant spike post-Thanksgiving. It is then going to run into the Christmas holidays and you’re going to see these numbers go very high,” he said.

Gray also said the county has reached out to the Governor’s office to learn more about how it can better prepare to handle the projected spike into early 2021.

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