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Husband, wife make 3 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Essex County

Coronavirus (Image provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

SARANAC LAKE — Two more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Essex County, bringing the total number of confirmed cases up to three.

Public health officials confirmed the two new cases, a husband and a wife, on Saturday afternoon.

The couple has traveled recently and were self-isolating at home when their results came back, according to the Essex County Health Department.

Public health staff are still working on identifying and reaching out to people who may have come in contact with the husband and wife, but the number of people who may have been exposed appears to be limited, according to the department. On Wednesday, when pressed for information about the first COVID-19 patient, Essex County Public Health Director Linda Beers said the department would not release identifying information about cases to protect the privacy patients and “to protect our citizens.”

“Even the slightest bit of information really identifies people,” she said.

The couple was tested for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus at the Elizabethtown Community Hospital’s drive-through testing site. According to ECH Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Clauss, testing at the drive-through site is by appointment only due to limitations on testing supplies and capacity.

“It’s important to point out that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and many cases will have only mild symptoms. For others, staying home and getting lots of fluids and rest is what we recommend,” Clauss said.

Symptoms for COVID-19 typically include a dry cough, fever, shortness of breath and fatigue.

The first case of COVID-19 in Essex County, a woman who had not traveled recently, was confirmed on Tuesday, March 17.

“Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are immediately placed under mandatory isolation order and are monitored daily by our health department,” Beers said in a statement. “We not only confirm compliance with the isolation orders, we track the health of these individuals, ensuring their needs are being met throughout the duration of the isolation period.”

The Essex County Health Department received notification of the two new confirmed cases Friday evening and Saturday morning.

“With three cases of COVID-19 now confirmed in Essex County, it is a good time to remind residents to follow the recommended strategies to prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Andrea Whitmarsh, public information officer for the Essex County Health Department. “These steps include staying home as much as possible, practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing.”

There have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 in nearby areas, including three in Clinton County as of Friday evening. As of Friday, Franklin County had no confirmed cases of COVID-19.

New York continues to have the most COVID-19 cases of any state in the U.S.

Statewide, the number of confirmed cases rose to 10,356 cases by Saturday morning, according to the New York Times. That’s roughly 3,000 more than the 7,000-plus cases that were confirmed on Friday and more than half of the nation’s roughly 18,000 cases. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has cited the state’s effort to ramp up testing as one of the factors behind the rapid increase in confirmed cases.

Worldwide, the World Health Organization on Friday reported 234,073 confirmed cases, up by more than 24,247 from the day before. There have been 9,840 deaths as of Friday, up by 3,234 from 6,606 deaths as of Monday.