Clinton County reports first COVID-19 case; nationwide shortage limits testing

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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – Clinton County is investigating its first reported case of COVID-19 on Monday after a person tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

County health officials said the person is in intensive care at UVM Health Network – CVPH in Plattsburgh. Meanwhile, Health Department staff are working to identify anyone who may have had contact with the individual prior to testing.

In a message announcing the case, Michelle LeBeau, hospital president and chief operating officer, said the “national shortage” of testing kits and supplies means that only hospitalized patients or patients pending admission will be tested for the virus.

“We will continue to work with our state department of health on the procurement of additional testing kits and will share if and when we are successful,” LeBeau said.

John Kanoza, public health director for Clinton County, advised residents to remain at home “to the extent possible” and to practice social distancing and avoid gatherings.

“Limiting exposure will slow the spread of the victims and prevent a sudden spike in cases that would potentially exceed the healthcare systems capacity to treat patients with or without COVID-19,” he said.

Also on Monday, Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read declared a state of emergency in the city.

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