In Brief – COVID-19 cases in Greene County have shot up in the last two weeks, spurred in part by an outbreak at a state prison.
Forty-six active cases were reported by the county Department of Health Thursday, the most since mid-May. The county’s active caseload was less than 10 throughout the summer, and there were only two active cases two weeks ago.
The county’s positivity rate – the portion of tests coming back positive – also rose significantly, according to the state. The positivity rate’s rolling seven-day average jumped to 3.3 percent Thursday, the highest in the county since late May.
Thirty-one of new cases are connected to Greene Correctional Facility, according to a Wednesday Facebook post by the Greene County Department of Health.
The state prison is still waiting on the results of 209 tests, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervisor (DOCCS). An average of 1,535 people are incarcerated at the prison in any given day, according to a September state audit.
The county Department of Health’s post also mentioned an “exposure” at the Greeneville Middle School that led to a higher number of people being mandated to quarantine. Messages left with the Department of Health about the Greeneville exposure were not returned, as were messages left with the Greeneville District Superintendent’s Office.
Several parts of New York are currently experiencing outbreaks. Rockland County is dealing with 1,500 active cases, mostly in the area around Spring Valley and Monsey, and Orange County reported 101 new cases on Wednesday alone, with active cases concentrated in Kiryas Joel.
Governor Andrew Cuomo severely limited religious gatherings and closed non-essential businesses in the two Hudson Valley spots, as well as in areas of Brooklyn and Queens. The areas all have large populations of Hasidic Jews.
The southern tier is also experiencing a spike in cases. The spike is more widespread and more diffuse than the spikes in the Hudson Valley and New York City, with six counties experiencing a significant increase in cases, according to an analysis of New York Times data.
Gov. Cuomo also placed restrictions around Binghamton and Endicott in Broome County, but they are far less restrictive than those in other areas.