LOWVILLE- Another swath of updates have poured in from Lewis County as authorities are trying to grab a hold of a growing cluster of cases.
During another press conference Friday, officials described this flare up as “uncontained” and most of the new cases can be traced back to a religious gathering at the Apostolic Christian Church in the town of New Bremen.
The gathering took place on October 11, as initial reports claimed that not everyone was wearing face masks or practicing social distancing while inside the church.
However, Church Elder Duane Farney has responded with comments to WWNY-TV, claiming that he saw everyone at the church wearing masks during the baptism.
Furthermore, authorities first said there were visitors who traveled to the area from states that were on New York’s advisory list. The travel advisory requires visitors to quarantine for two-weeks upon arrival from states that are on the list.
Further updates have clarified that these visitors in question were from Ohio and Connecticut, which were both not on the list for travel advisory when the baptism took place. Ohio was added on October 13.
On the other hand, county officials say the church did not have a sign-in sheet, leading to a frustrating process for contact tracing. Authorities are now urging all area businesses to have a sign-in list for patrons.
Adding to this situation, Lewis County Public Health identified three more potential exposure sites, including Pioneer Café, Route 12 in Glenfield on Tuesday, October 13 between 1:30 and 2:15 p.m.; Steak and Brew, Route 26 in Turin on Saturday, October 17 between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. (in the smaller of the two dining rooms, which officials say is off to the right when you enter the establishment); and the Hook and Ladder, Salmon River Road in Lowville on Sunday, October 18 between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.
If you visited these locations on those dates and during those time frames and have not contacted public health, authorities encourage you to do so: 315-376-5108. You will hear an audio recording instructing you to leave your name and phone number, as public health officials will get back to you as soon as possible.
Beaver River Central School announced another update Friday, where Superintendent of Schools Todd Green confirmed that students will receive their education via remote learning for two-weeks, beginning Monday, October 26.
Also, Lowville Academy has pressed pause on any athletic events and practices through at least Monday, officials announced Friday.
To date, county health officials report 102 infections altogether, with 31 cases remaining active and 1 person hospitalized with virus related complications.
There are 42 test results pending, but multiple people in this category are also experiencing symptoms, health officials said.
Lewis County Health System’s free COVID-19 drive-thru test site will be open Saturday, October 24 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on the hospital’s main campus in Lowville.