Montgomery County provides virus update

FONDA — Montgomery County COVID-19 cases have been fluctuating up and down this past month with the county now at a total of 149 cases.

Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort said in a briefing on Facebook Live on Monday that the county saw 11 new cases since last week.

“Overall, it was a relatively good week. We had, I think, some of the lowest total number of PAUSE complaints a week, so that was good. It seemed like a quiet weekend. All seems to be well for the most part,” Ossenfort said.

Again, Montgomery County Public Health Director Sara Boerenko said those who tested positive either work in a nursing home, are a resident in a nursing home or recently went a large gathering either at a festivity, wedding, party or family gathering.

“So, we are up a little bit, but overall, most people are still doing a great job. We’re doing what we need to do, going to get tested, isolating, quarantining,” Boerenko said.

She said there have been some questions regarding students going back to college who are required to be tested in order to stay in a dorm room, however, the county doesn’t have the testing capacity to test college students going back to a place where they need to have that for dorm life.

They are referring people to the state department of health site in Albany or to their primary care physician.

“I do know that test kits are scarce and that’s a conversation we’ve been talking with the hospital, as well as nursing homes and nursing facilities — testing kits are just becoming more and more scarce and we know it’s because people are starting to need them to go back to school, go back to work or gearing up for that time of year,” Boerenko said.

The county health department has also been working with the school districts regarding reopening plans.

“Schools are really doing a great job doing the best they can with the limited information and guidance they have from the state,” Boerenko said.

Montgomery County Sheriff Jeff Smith said there has been a decrease in PAUSE complaints, but one ticket has been issued to an individual who refused to leave a business for not wearing a mask or face covering.

“If a corporation policy is face mask or face covering required and they ask you to leave, you have to leave. Sadly this situation was this one establishment even had a drive through set up so they could have received service without that, but unfortunately it did not go that way, so we issued a ticket for trespassing,” Smith said.

By Paul Wager