MALONE — Franklin County’s active cases of COVID-19 — the number of which had been climbing steadily after a July 10 river outing left at least eight people infected — dropped significantly Saturday.
The number of active cases fell from 12 as of Friday morning to seven on Saturday, County Manager Donna Kissane reported in her daily briefing email.
The drop indicates that at least five of those who had been infected due their participation in the river outing have now recovered. The county has reported a total 151 people considered positive for COVID-19, 48 because of test results and another 103 designated as probable — people who had been diagnosed with the virus or been in contact with someone known to be infected but were not tested, refused testing or have not yet received their results — since the county’s first case was reported in late March.
Despite the decline in positive cases, the number of people in quarantine or isolation rose from 103 on Friday to 139 on Saturday.
The isolations are largely clustered in two areas of the county –– the northwest corner, which includes Akwesasne and the town of Bombay, with 24 and 13, respectively, and the southwest corner, where the town of Tupper Lake has 23 in isolation or quarantine and the sparsely populated town of Santa Clara (population 335, according to the most recent census data) has the highest number in the county at 25, according to a map prepared by the North Country Crime Analysis Center showing the numbers as of noon Friday.
Santa Clara does have a large population of seasonal residents whose numbers are not reflected in the census data.
Kissane, who is also a member of the Malone Central School District Board of Education, called on county residents to continue to practice safety measures to prevent the spread of the disease — or to begin doing so if they are not already.
“Many opinions on opening schools and the structure selected have been voiced,” Kissane noted in her email. “During the next month, schools would have a higher chance of success if the public health recommendations across the world were followed. If people want to see in-person, fully operational schools and you have not been receptive to wearing face coverings, socially distancing 6’ or more and all the other precautionary measures recommended around sanitization, hand washing, and limited gatherings, please reconsider.
“It is our best chance to minimize the risk and spread to our entire community — both strong and vulnerable community members,” she wrote.