After announcing just six new coronavirus confirmations on Wednesday, Oneida County saw its new cases jump by 44 on Thursday.

And, County Executive Anthony Picente says another resident has died, brining the overall number of fatalities attributed to COVID-19 to 19.

Of the 44 new cases announced on Thursday, 21 are seasonal 'part-time' residents who work at Green Empire Farms in Madison County, but who took up residence in Oneida County.

To that end, Thursday's lone public exposure incident alert involved an employee of the greenhouse who became infected, said Phyllis Ellis, Oneida County's public health director. That exposure, involving an Oneida County resident actually occurred in Madison County on May 3, at the Walmart store in the city of Oneida.

Anyone at that location on May 3 between 11:00 a.m. and noon. The possible is exposure is considered 'Low Risk' as the infected person was wearing a mask, Ellis said.

When asked how there could be so few possible public exposure incidents tied to such a high number of Green Empire Farms seasonal employees (to date more than 75 such workers who worked at the greenhouse but lived in Oneida County, at places including La Quinta Inn and Suites in Verona have tested positive), Ellis said more public exposure announcement could be forthcoming. She also indicated that in at least some instances, one person would shop and make purchases on behalf of a larger group.



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