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COVID-19 exposure at church and SMS in Seneca Falls

The Seneca County Health Department has received notification of individuals that have tested positive for COVID-19 at two separate events held in Seneca County.

Officials say there is a potential for community spread.

An individual who attended Seneca Bible Baptist Church, at 1859 Auburn Road in Seneca Falls on November 11th tested positive.  Public health staff are continuing to conduct contact tracing for individuals who have been identified as having attended this service.  It is possible that not all of the individuals who may have attended this service have been identified.

The prolonged period of exposure while unmasked and sitting close together has prompted an elevated risk of exposure for anyone that attended this service. Anyone who attended this service and has not been contacted should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 which include, fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell.

A dinner banquet that was held in the second floor banquet room of the SMS Hall at 95 Ovid Street in Seneca Falls on Saturday, November 14th was also identified as a possible community spread event. An individual who attended this dinner has tested positive for COVID-19. There are many individuals including attendees and food service providers who must be quarantined due to possible exposure, officials said.

In addition, anyone who patronized the SMS on Saturday, November 14th even if they did not attend this banquet should monitor themselves for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Although the risk of transmission is low, there is still potential for spread of this virus.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Seneca County has escalated over the past few weeks, officials added. “It is imperative that everyone continues to maintain social distancing, mask wearing and disinfecting surfaces in any attempt to prevent the further spread of this virus,” said Vickie Swinehart, Public Health Director.  “As the cases of COVID-19 in our community are increasing, we must make the difficult decision to limit our attendance at social events or family gatherings especially as we enter the holiday season.”