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Hudson Falls schools go virtual through Friday

Hudson Falls schools go virtual through Friday

From the Coronavirus collection: Read the latest updates series
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After two people at Hudson Falls schools tested positive, the district is stopping in-person instruction through Friday.

The school district learned about the two cases Wednesday. Students were not in school, because it was Veterans Day.

The elementary school students left their Chromebooks at school — the normal policy — which created problems for the school district in terms of planning virtual lessons.

“We will communicate with parents shortly about plans to provide work for our youngest learners. Please check your child’s building website for work, which will be posted by noon (Thursday),” school officials said in a news release.

Meals will be available for pickup from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Franklin Street side of the high school.

Washington County Public Health officials are working with the school district to determine close contacts for each person. Public Health will contact everyone who was in close contact.

North Warren third grade

Every member of a third grade class at North Warren Central School District has been quarantined after a person tested positive for coronavirus Wednesday afternoon.

The students, their teacher and one other staff member are quarantined, school officials said.

“Since the beginning of the school year, the North Warren Central School District has been following all of the proper protocols including daily health screenings, physical distancing, mask wearing and hand-washing.The district has also been thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting our building daily in accordance with guidance from the New York State Department of Health and the CDC,” Superintendent Michele French wrote in a letter to the community.

Hadley-Luzerne school update

After an elementary school student at Hadley-Luzerne tested positive Tuesday, some parents questioned why no one else was quarantined.

Warren County Health Services made that decision.

“Warren County Health Services looked at the timing of illness, when the person had last been in the building as well as the precautions taken while the person was in the building, and determined that no exposures were believed to have occurred. The Hadley-Luzerne District staff and students have been very good at following mask, ventilation and social distancing protocols, according to (Health Services Director) Ginelle Jones,” said county spokesman Don Lehman.

He also explained why the county did not release the last date that the student was in the school.

“Discussing when specific people were in a building, particularly in a small district, could potentially violate patient confidentiality. And when they were last in the building is just part of the equation, as what the person and those around them did while there is a major part as well,” he said.



New state rules for restaurants, bars, gyms, parties

Statewide, restaurants, bars and gyms must close at 10 p.m., Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.

Restaurants can do curbside pickup after 10 p.m., but only for food, not for alcohol.

Cuomo said late-night gatherings were spreading coronavirus.

“That’s one of the major spreaders of COVID,” he said in a conference call. “What happens is, that setting, it’s very hard to police, it’s very hard for people to maintain the discipline.”

Gyms have also been identified as coronavirus “spreaders,” he said.

Gyms that are open after 10 p.m. are generally self-serve gyms with no worker on site to enforce mask wearing.

In addition, house parties are now capped at 10 people, including the household, Cuomo said, citing new rules in surrounding states. He wanted to have the same rule so that friends did not cross state lines to party in New York state because the party wasn’t allowed elsewhere.

“Bars, gyms, parties, that’s where it’s coming from,” Cuomo said. “It is really getting much, much worse by the day.”

He urged the public to stick it out for a little while longer.

“We are within sight of the finish line. The vaccine has been discovered,” he said. “We’ve had a terrible eight months. We’re on the last small lap. Let’s just do what we have to do to get through it and then we’ll rebuild together.”

Glens Falls Hospital stopping most visitation

Glens Falls Hospital is restricting visitors, beginning Thursday.

Visitors will generally only be allowed for loved ones who are near death. Parents or guardians of hospitalized children will be allowed to visit, and laboring women can bring a birthing partner. In other circumstances, visitors should speak with hospital officials, who will make exceptions in “compassionate” cases.

Ellis Hospital in Schenectady and Albany Medical Center Hospital have enacted the same policy.

Visitors are also restricted for outpatient procedures. One visitor will be allowed with a pediatric patient or a patient who needs physical or mental support.

The hospital and all of its departments remains open. However, outpatients who have coronavirus or its symptoms may need to have their appointment rescheduled or switched to a telemedicine visit. They should call the clinic prior to their appointment to describe their symptoms.

The decision was made due to the rise in coronavirus cases regionally, although there are currently no coronavirus patients at Glens Falls Hospital.

“COVID-19 continues to present a serious threat for all of us,” said Glens Falls Hospital President and CEO Dianne Shugrue in a news release. “We need to be sure that all who need care understand that Glens Falls Hospital is here for you and safe for you. Please don’t delay seeking the care you need.”

Wednesday’s statistics

  • Warren County reported four new cases, including the Hadley-Luzerne student, a person who had contact with an acquaintance who had coronavirus, a person infected at work outside of Warren County, and a person whose infection had not yet been traced to a source. That brings the county’s total to 431 confirmed cases since March. There are 25 people currently ill, and none are hospitalized.
  • Washington County reported two new cases, for a total of 358 confirmed cases since March. There are 17 people currently ill and one is hospitalized.
  • Saratoga County did not report.
  • Essex County did not report.
  • Saratoga Hospital reported six coronavirus patients, two of whom are in the intensive care unit, and Glens Falls Hospital reported none.

For Tuesday, the most recent date for which data was available:

  • The Capital Region reported 140 new cases, a positive test rate of 1.2%. The goal is to stay under 1%.
  • Five counties were above that for Tuesday, including Warren County, at 1.2%.
  • Also above the goal were: Columbia County, at 4.2% with 19 cases; Schenectady County, at 1.8% with 19 cases; Saratoga County at 1.2%; and Albany County at 1.2% with 60 cases.
  • Washington County had a positive test rate of 0.7% Tuesday.
  • Statewide, 4,820 people tested positive Tuesday, an overall positive test rate of 2.9%. The hot spots had a positive test rate of 4.96% and the state without the hot spots had a positive test rate of 2.58%.
  • There were 1,628 people hospitalized with coronavirus Tuesday and 21 people died.

You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.

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