Saying he was frustrated and angry, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente on Wednesday detailed how one local youth sports coach in the Holland Patent School District recently infected others and exposed dozens more after ignoring COVID symptoms and refusing to assist contact tracers.

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Picente said that one adult who was exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and has ultimately tested positive for the virus, continued-on in his role as an assistant football coach, in a local church group, continued to attend church services and other community activities, and has now been linked to at least nine positive tests, almost 100 known exposures and caused more than 40 others to quarantine in at least two local school districts.

''People are drawing the wrong conclusions from our successes. The virus is still out there and still has the ability to connect to all age groups, including the most vulnerable,'' Picente said.

During his briefing Wednesday, Picente outlined how the one positive case led to the infection of the person's spouse and some of the couple's children, all who continued to go to school and take part in their normal day-to-day activities in the community.

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The county executive also said one of the couple's adult children is local music instructor at an area school.

Further, he says the individual at the top of this particular spider-webbing spread refused to provide a full list of of those he'd been in contact with so that county contact tracers could investigate and notify those individuals.

The anger, Picente said, stems from irresponsible behavior exhibited by a person who is not protecting the very children they are supposed to be responsible for.

And, he cautioned local residents, despite relatively low numbers this is not the time to let your guard down.

Unless people take precautions and continue to follow guidelines, ''those numbers are gonna go up, and that's gonna cause us to shut down things that we don't wanna close down. As I said, I want our businesses to open. I get it, I understand that our restaurants and bars and establishment really need it. I'm really worried about their success,'' Picente said.


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