Green Empire Farms in Madison County recently had 122 of it's more than 200 employees test positive for COVID-19, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente announced on Monday.

Picente said 52 of the 122 are 'part-time' Oneida County residents. He went on to explain that the greenhouse contracts with a company in Indiana, which provided the seasonal workers, who've temporarily located to central New York.

Conditions within the greenhouse were, by design, humid and ripe for growth, Picente said, and that likely includes the growth and spead of bacteria, and coronavirus. However, he said the greenhouse is closed to the public and only employees were within.

The county executive does not believe this will adversly effect the criteria of a phase one re-opening on May 15, saying despite the large uptick, Oneida County stills meets six of the seven critieria to re-open, except for the overall testing numbers, he said.

In addtion to the 52 'part-time' Oneida County residents associated with the greenhouse, Picente said another 15 county residents have also tested positive since Sunday.

He said he is looking for answers as to what type of PPE the workers had access to, what type of distancing was observed, along with other questions.

New Public Exposures in Oneida County

  • On April 29, 2020, an Oneida County resident who has tested positive for COVID-19 was at the Fastrac located at 384 N. Genesee Street in Utica between 10 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Risk to the public is low as the person was wearing a mask. Anyone who was in the store during that time period should monitor themselves for symptoms until May 13 and contact their health care provider if symptoms develop. You do not have to automatically self-quarantine.
  • On May 1, 2020, an Oneida County resident who has tested positive for COVID-19 was at the BJ’s located at 400 River Road in Utica between 4 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. Risk to the public is low as the person was wearing a mask. Anyone who was in the store during that time period should monitor themselves for symptoms until May 15 and contact their health care provider if symptoms develop. You do not have to automatically self-quarantine.
  • An employee at the Walmart located 710 Horatio Street in Utica who has tested positive for COVID-19 worked the 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. shift from April 27 to May 3, 2020. Risk to the public is low as the person was wearing a mask. Anyone who was in the store during that time period should monitor themselves for symptoms until May 11 to May 17 depending on when they were in the store and contact their health care provider if symptoms develop. You do not have to automatically self-quarantine.

 

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