Rensselaer County reports their highest daily coronavirus cases yet

Rensselaer County reports their highest daily coronavirus cases yet Photo: AP .

Jacquie Slater
Updated: November 19, 2020 11:27 PM
Created: November 19, 2020 07:20 PM

Officials in Rensselaer County say 41 new positive COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday marking an all-time high since the pandemic. The number of people in mandatory quarantine has also hit an all-time high.

"Yesterday, we had 744 people in our county under mandatory quarantine. That means we call those people once a day for the quarantine and that's a lot," said Mary Fran Wachunas, Director for the Rensselaer County Health Department.

Wachunas says 30 contact tracers are working to follow up on these cases and others reported this week. Wachunas says they are seeing some new trends that show how the virus is moving throughout the community.

"Before we used to have maybe five to 10 people per positive, and we're finding it's a lot more, 15 to 25 that are coming with people," said Wachunas. 

Another new trend Wachunas says they are seeing is entire families testing positive for the virus. During the spring and summer months officials say it was often one or two people per household that would test positive.

"I believe because we're in. We're inside now. Before you know when we saw April, May, June, you know people were outside more. Windows were open and we weren't doing much. We were home a lot. People are going places. Things are open and we're inside. The windows are shut and you know I think that's why we're seeing this increase," said Wachunas.

County officials say they are also concerned about large gatherings.  NewsChannel 13 obtained a photo that sources say was taken on November 7, and shows a large group of Averill Park High School students at what has been reported as a backyard prom. 

Sources say there were also other gatherings of students and or teachers within the last few weeks.

On November 12, the superintendent for the Averill Park Central School District said in a Facebook video that they had nine positive cases since the weekend before and went on to say they were aware of an event that took place off school grounds that may have led to possible exposure and resulted in some students being quarantined.

Multiple cases have been reported in the last several days including three new students testing positive on Thursday.

Averill Park announced earlier this week they would be going to all remote learning through November 30 as a result of the rising cases within the community.

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