New information on Madison County Green Empire Farms COVID-19 outbreak

Coronavirus

WAMPSVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On Friday morning, the Madison County Health Department and Board of Chairs held their weekly coronavirus update. Here is a breakdown of the recent coronavirus testing numbers:

  • 2,136 people have been tested
  • 1,811 people have tested negative
  • 271 people have tested positive
  • 54 tests are pending
  • 7 deaths

These numbers have risen in part due to target testing.

Chairman John Becker says he understands that county residents are worried because of the recent uptick in positive coronavirus cases, but you shouldn’t single people out.

“It’s not their fault they got sick,” Becker said.

Last week, there was an outbreak in positive COVID-19 cases at Green Empire Farms in Oneida. Because of that, Madison County worked with the New York State Department of Health to set up a testing site at the greenhouse. On Saturday, 186 people were tested, and another 151 were tested on Tuesday. From those two days of testing, 83 workers at the greenhouse tested positive, while 51 tested negative. Another 21 people were placed into quarantine because of their close contact with people who have tested positive. The numbers above represent only those residents of Madison County. Oneida County has its own tally of coronavirus cases related to the greenhouse.

Becker reminds Madison County residents to remain vigilant and practice social distancing and to wear a face covering in public.

“As you can see, it spreads quickly and easily,” Becker said.

Mayor Helen Acker of Oneida also released a statement on the issue:

Both the State Agricultural and Marketing Team and the City of Oneida Codes have been in the greenhouse in the last couple of days and have found that they are compliant with all the rules. They take the temperatures of everyone coming into the building when their shift starts, they provide masks, hand sanitizer and have plenty of hot and cold running water and hand towels. My main concern for the people tested and living at the motel is the close quarters. There are currently 26 people living in the motel in Oneida,  5 of which now have been retested and released and are able to get back to work and carry on with their lives. The remaining people are still living at the hotel and are in isolation or quarantine depending on their results. The motel is being cleaned and rooms are divided between the positive and negative results. Once cleared the people who are testing negative will be moved into the clean rooms. The county has asked for reevaluation and better plans for the vehicles that these gentlemen are being transported in. I myself, believe there are too many on the buses and the management company MAC should provide more transportation to allow for physical distancing. The county has also asked for better plans in the break room areas of the building. I am all for that. I am also asking for more testing in our area so we can be better prepared. As for the rest of us residents, we need to continue to practice the recommendations of the CDC, State, and County and City. Wear a mask when you are outside and within 6 feet of another person. Do your physical distancing of 6 feet, wash your hands as soon as you get home. Wash down any products you have purchased before you put them away. We have been doing a great job so far and need to continue to do so so that we can open our businesses and get back to work. We can do it if we work together.

Click the player below to watch the entire briefing:

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