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Legislature hears update on Keuka College cases ADVERTISEMENT

Legislature hears update on Keuka College cases

YATES COUNTY--County Health Director Deborah Minor informed the Yates County Legislature during the Tuesday, Oct. 13 meeting of the recent COVID-19 outbreak at Keuka College and said it is likely to continue to get bigger. The root cause of the outbreak are two events Minor described as large gatherings.
The Yates County Health Departments update to the public Monday, Oct. 19 said, "Since our Friday update, we have received 25 new cases, 21 are related to Keuka College and four are community cases not related to Keuka College. Total Keuka College cases due to this current cluster is 100. Sixty-one students have recovered."
The health department has been working to perform contact tracing since learning of the outbreak, including over Columbus Day, Minor said. As a result of that work over dozens of people have been asked to self-quarantine pending results of a COVID test.
In a move that caused some consternation amongst legislators, Minor informed the lawmakers that healthy students not impacted by contact tracing were being encouraged to leave campus and return to their homes.
Minor said social distancing and best practices to separate healthy students from infected ones might be inherently impossible at Keuka due to its small size combined with the fact students share common areas such as bathrooms and dorms. Minor added that students who have been exposed but are waiting for test results are being asked to return home to self-quarantine for 14 days.
"The college is doing the best they can, but they don't have a large space to quarantine (infected students and those awaiting test results)," Minor said.
As it stands, no students who have received positive tests have required hospitalization, and most are reporting mild symptoms at worst, Minor said.
"People are not doing what they need to when it comes to social distancing and wearing masks," Minor said. "As we see, this spreads very quickly and it has a huge impact on the college community and general community."
When asked by the legislature about social media posts listing businesses who were visited by people that tested positive for COVID, she insisted that list did not come from the health department and is in no way official.
However, she added people should always assume any public space they enter could have just been contaminated by someone who is COVID positive.
"Always wear a mask," Minor said.
Outside of Keuka, Minor told the legislature as of the morning of Oct. 13 only three active cases exist and all three are recuperating at home.
Minor added there are no active cases among students and staff at the Penn Yan or Dundee Central School Districts but one student is under quarantine after having contact with a positive case away from school grounds.





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