First Jefferson County resident confirmed positive for COVID-19


WATERTOWN, N.Y. (March 17, 2020) – Late today, the first case of an individual with positive COVID-19 in Jefferson County was confirmed by LabCorp laboratory. The individual is a Jefferson County resident, and the specimen was taken and submitted by the Samaritan Medical Center Emergency Department.

The individual is now in mandatory isolation by the Jefferson County Public Health Service. To date, there is one confirmed positive case and three negative in Jefferson County.

(Note: This individual is in addition to the part-time Fort Drum Education Center employee – an Albany resident -- who tested positive for COVID-19.)

Under current New York State Department of Health COVID-19 testing guidance, health care providers are now able to conduct COVID-19 testing without authorization from county health departments. The Jefferson County Public Health Service is working closely with providers to manage patients tested and to determine which patients require precautionary quarantine until test results are confirmed. Currently, there are 64 individuals in Jefferson County under precautionary quarantine.

The Jefferson County Public Health Service continues to work closely with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about testing protocols related to disease transmission. Travel history is still a consideration, along with presentation of specific symptoms.

To date, there are 1,374 positive COVID-19 cases in New York state, with the vast majority of cases in Westchester County. Local health departments are actively monitoring suspected and positive cases throughout the state, and it is anticipated that the numbers of people requiring testing and monitoring will continue and grow.

All county health departments are in daily communication with NYSDOH communicable disease leadership to track and monitor exposure potential and possible disease transmission and occurrence in New York state.

The Jefferson County Public Health Service, working with the NYSDOH and the CDC, continues to advise individuals to:

  • Do your part to stop the spread of germs:

o Wash your hznds often with soap and water.

o Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

o Practice social distance.

o Avoid contact with sick people.

o Stay home if you’re sick.

To receive the most current, up-to-date information, visit

The Jefferson County Public Health Service will continue to update the public regarding disease risk and status.


(Jefferson County Public Health Service)