The spikes that adorn the outer surface of the coronavirus, which impart the look of a corona, when viewed through an electron microscope. CDC photo

WATERTOWN — The third and fourth positive COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County were confirmed Thursday by LabCorp laboratory, including a Samaritan Medical Center employee.

The employee and the second individual are residents of the county and are now under mandatory isolation.

To date, there are four positive cases in the county, with 130 tests having come back negative so far.

One of the new positive COVID-19 patients is a Samaritan direct patient care employee. The person worked on Monday and was screened before their shift with no sign of symptoms.

According to a joint statement from Samaritan and Jefferson County Public Health, the individual wore a mask at all times while working because they had been in contact with another hospital patient who was under isolation precautions. The staff member had contact with patients and other staff members during their shift.

Their symptoms began on Wednesday and they were then tested. It is the understanding of Jefferson County Public Health that the individual recently traveled to Long Island.

Staff at Samaritan Medical Center who came in contact with this employee will be screened every 12 hours and be masked as a precautionary measure to help keep patients and other staff members healthy. Any current hospital inpatient that was cared for by the employee will be put under precautionary isolation measures.

The Jefferson County Public Health Service will perform a comprehensive case investigation of any exposed patient that has been discharged from the hospital, any staff members that may have been exposed, and any other community contacts of the positive individual, and initiate the appropriate type of quarantine per individual.

No further information about the new cases has been revealed at this time.

To date, there are 37,258 positive COVID-19 cases in New York state, with the vast majority of cases in New York City. Local health departments are actively monitoring suspected and positive cases throughout the state and it is anticipated that the numbers of people requiring testing and monitoring will continue to grow.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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