Officials warn of possible COVID exposure at Route 30 diner as alarm grows over positive increases

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The Fulton County Department of Public Health Wednesday issued a news release alerting the public to a potential COVID-19 exposure last week at the Amsterdam Diner located at 4790 Route 30.

The Amsterdam Diner exposure is occurring at a time when Montgomery County officials are sounding the alarm that the number of COVID-19 positive cases are increasing.

“We’re starting to see a little bit of a slight uptick,” Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort said on Monday. “It’s not a huge jump, but I definitely am a little concerned and want to keep an eye on the numbers going up rather than going down. We were at 63 [new cases] two weeks ago and now we’re at 118.”

Fulton County health officials on Wednesday said members of the public may have been exposed to the virus at the Amsterdam Diner between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on either Thursday March 25 or Friday March 26. County health officials typically announce COVID-19 exposures based on cases they identify, even when the location is not within their geographic boundaries.

“If you have been affected by the exposure monitor yourself for symptoms up to 14 days after the time of exposure,” reads the news release.

The quarantine end date for exposure on Thursday, March 25 is April 4, and the quarantine end date for exposure on Friday, March 26 on April 5.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste of smell, sore throat, congestion or a runny nose, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.

COVID-19 testing locations can be found online at coronavirus/health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you.

“If symptoms occur, contact your primary care provider for further guidance on testing. If you are a high-risk individual, contact your doctor even if symptoms are mild,” reads the news release.

In recent weeks Fulton and Montgomery counties have been seeing a greater spread of the virus while achieving lower rates of vaccination than most their neighboring counties.

“In the region, our Fulton and Montgomery county numbers are higher than the rest of the counties, and we’re an uptick when you look at the weekly numbers,” Ossenfort said Monday, citing an increase of weekly cases over the past three weeks rising from 63 to 77 to 118.

According to New York State’s COVID-19 Tracker Montgomery County had a positivity rate of 4.1% on Tuesday, accounting for 2 new positive cases and Fulton County on Tuesday had a positivity rate of 4.3% and 20 new cases.

On Tuesday both Fulton and Montgomery counties had higher positivity rates than these neighboring counties: Hamilton (3.4%, 1 new case) Saratoga (3.3%, 51 new cases), Schoharie (2.9%, 10 new cases), Schenectady (3.5%, 47 new cases) Otsego (2.3%, 21 new cases), Herkimer (3.7%, 10 new cases) and Albany (3.8%, 77 new cases).

Vaccination numbers for Montgomery and Fulton counties also show trailing most of their neighboring counties.

As of Wednesday, Montgomery County had 8,898 people who’ve completed a vaccine series and 15,636 people who’ve received at least one vaccine dose — 31.6% of the county’s estimated 49,455 people.

Montgomery is doing better than New York state (30.4%) as a whole for vaccine percentage, but trails these neighboring counties: Schenectady (58,060 people with at least one dose, 37.4%), Saratoga (82,815 people with at least one dose, 36%) Otsego (20,392 people with at least one dose, 34.1%) and Albany (114,663 people with at least one dose, 37.3%).

Fulton County trails all of those counties and sits at the bottom of the Mohawk Valley Region with 12,919 people with at least one dose of the vaccine — 24.1% of the county’s estimated 53,591 residents. Fulton County also trails these nearby rural counties: Schoharie (8,549 people with at least one dose, 27.5%) and Hamilton (2,548 people with at least one dose, 57.5%).

Ossenfort said he is urging the public to remain cautious to the risks of a potential fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“If nothing else, besides the safety and health of our vulnerable residents, if you want to be able to play in games and go to proms and go to graduation parties and social events this year, you’re going to really have to try to keep an eye on these numbers,” Ossenfort said.

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