OSHA looking at COVID-19 hotspot in Madison, Oneida counties

Coronavirus

CENTRAL NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — The COVID-19 hotspots in Madison and Oneida counties have caught the attention of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has mentioned the areas in his daily briefings. Now, the cases are on the radar of federal employees with the U.S. Department of Labor. 

NewsChannel 9 reached out OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the only thing they can us is they’re aware of the situation are gathering information right now. 

OSHA is specifically looking into Green Empire Farms as we are learning about employees who are testing positive for the virus. Initially, a group of workers tested positive for the virus back in April, and then this past weekend, Madison County health officials called on the state to help them test the other nearly 300 employees working there. 

At last check, NewsChannel 9 has been told 75 people from Madison County tested positive for the virus over the weekend and just over 50 seasonal workers from Oneida County. 

In a press conference on Thursday, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says 21 more workers have tested positive for the virus. 

County health leaders stress that they do not believe the virus spread in the facility, but in the hotels many of the employees stay at together, which are located in both Madison and Oneida counties. Those who have tested positive are now in quarantine, along with those waiting for results. 

Picente shared a breakdown of the cases he’s seeing and how it relates to facilities like Green Empire Farms. 

“If we do an overall scope of it, you’ll see facility-related cases have 67 percent and the non-facility related make up 33 percent that are not directly related to a facility,” Picente said.

The numbers are foggy right now when it comes to exactly how many people who work at Green Empire Farms have tested positive for coronavirus. Madison County officials are set to give an update on Friday morning.

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For more local news, follow Julia LeBlanc on Twitter @JuliaLeBlancNC9.

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