The recent spike in Cayuga County COVID-19 cases continued over the weekend and into Monday.
The Cayuga County Health Department reported 12 new cases over the past three days, including seven on Saturday — most in a single day since April 16 and the county's second-highest single-day case total of the pandemic.
There was one confirmed case on Sunday, but the health department said two COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized. They remain hospitalized on Monday when there were four new cases announced.
The 12 new cases include two students living outside of Auburn — one in the Cato-Meridian school district and one in the Union Springs school district. Another child who lives outside the city tested positive for the virus, but they aren't attending in-person instruction, according to the department's situational update.
The nine adults who tested positive for COVID-19 include two in their 80s, two in their 60s, two in their 30s, two in their 20s and one in their 40s. Six live outside of Auburn, while three are city residents.
Contact tracing investigations are complete for the 12 new cases. The number of people in mandatory quarantine, which is required for individuals exposed to the virus, increased from 75 on Friday to 178 on Monday. That is the highest number of residents in quarantine since the county's first case in March. The previous high was 93 people in quarantine on April 25.
The uptick in COVID-19 cases in Cayuga County includes a cluster involving Emmanuel Baptist Bible Church in Martville. At least eight residents who are congregants at the church tested positive for COVID-19.
Since the county's situational update on Sept. 21, there have been 22 new cases in the past week. There are 21 active cases, which is the highest total since April.
The health department said Monday that there has been a "variety of reasons" for community spread of the virus, including more people attending large gatherings, exposures in churches and worship services and the reopening of schools.
With an increase of confirmed cases, more people are being placed into quarantine because they have been exposed to the virus.
"As we have in the past, we are strongly encouraging that people keep their circles small," health officials wrote in their update. "Our department cannot emphasize this enough. The more gatherings we attend, the more times we frequent stores, the more activities our children participate in, all presents an increased risk of exposure."
The department also urged residents to maintain social distancing and to wear face coverings in public when social distancing can't be maintained.
Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.
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