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Stay up to date with the latest news on the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. We'll post regular updates from NPR and regional news from the WRVO newsroom. You can also find updates on our live blog.

One person responsible for 9 coronavirus cases in Oneida County, dozens of people in quarantine

Oneida County
This chart represents the number of people infected and possibly exposed to COVID-19 from one person in Oneida County

Oneida County officials said Wednesday that nine cases of COVID-19 in the county have been tied to one person who continued to go out in public for more than a week after contracting the illness.

County Executive Anthony Picente said 60 people have been placed in quarantine as a result of the man's "careless" behavior.

"What started out as only three cases in the Holland Patent schools has led to nine cases that we know of right now, has led to numerous exposures and quarantines," Picente said. "It is that type of carelessness, it’s that type of negligence that we have to avoid."

During a briefing Wednesday, Picente shared how the illness spread. He said the man started showing symptoms Sept. 16, but continued to go out in public, attending services at Bethel Baptist Church, where he also participated in church activities. He also worked as an assistant coach for a youth football team at the Northern Community Sports Complex in Holland Patent. (See Picente's full briefing below)

But Picente said the man also hosted a birthday party, and went to the DMV.

"A case like this extends into multiple families, multiple school districts, multiple activities, multiple children," he said. "Yet it could have all been avoided if the person stayed home. If the person didn’t go on to coach football. If the person didn’t go to a church youth group."

Picente said the head coach of the team and the church refused to cooperate with the county health department's investigation, and would only refer officials to their lawyers, a move Picente called "irresponsible."

Picente asked anyone who may have attended events at the church or sports complex to call 315-798-5431.

The Holland Patent school district shut down in-person classes this week while contact tracing continues.

Jason has served as WRVO's news director in some capacity since August 2017. As news director, Jason produces hourly newscasts, and helps direct local news coverage and special programming. Before that, Jason hosted Morning Edition on WRVO from 2009-2019. Jason came to WRVO in January of 2008 as a producer/reporter. Before that, he spent two years as an anchor/reporter at WSYR Radio in Syracuse.