PLATTSBURGH — Tri-county area health departments have reported five new COVID-related deaths and hundreds of new cases since early last week.


Essex County Health Department and Franklin County Public Health each reported one fatality. The other three decedents resided in Clinton County.

It appears one of the Clinton County residents who died was Orville Keyes, a Town of Peru employee. Town Supervisor Brandy McDonald posted on Facebook that Keyes passed away Saturday evening, adding that more town employees were positive for COVID.

"Orville Keyes was a great guy and great town worker for the Town of Peru for a lot of years and will be missed by so many," he wrote. "My heart goes out to the whole family. I’m so sorry.

"Peru lost a great guy. Please pray for Orville’s family and the other town workers to get better."

ECHD Program Coordinator Andrea Whitmarsh said in the agency's Monday update that the Essex County decedent was a fully vaccinated resident of the Essex Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing.

The Elizabethtown facility was the site of a deadly COVID outbreak that lasted from August to October 2020, infecting 100 residents, staff and contacts of staff, and resulting in 16 resident deaths.

Last month, ECHD reported that a cluster had emerged there. This latest fatality marks the third reported COVID-related death there this fall, though it was not immediately clear if it was linked to the newer cluster.

The COVID-related fatality counts have now reached 48 in Clinton County, 41 in Essex County and 26 in Franklin County.


Throughout last week and over the weekend, the Clinton County Health Department reported 246 new COVID cases.

As of Monday, there were 242 active cases among county residents, and an additional 293 were in precautionary quarantine.

FCPH collectively posted 211 new cases over the same time period, while ECHD said 102 had emerged.

On Monday, there were 198 active cases in Franklin County and 113 in Essex County.


The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe's Emergency Operations Center and Health Services reported two new cases in Akwesasne's southern portion on Tuesday, Nov. 23, and five on Monday.

There were 10 active cases under the tribe's jurisdiction — two of whom were hospitalized due to severe symptoms — and an additional 25 in precautionary quarantine.

University of Vermont Health Network, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital Sr. Marketing and Communications Specialist Chris Blake said, as of Monday, there were 20 COVID-positive patients in the Plattsburgh facility, five of whom were in the intensive care unit.


COVID testing is available throughout the tri-county area.

Go to to find a testing site near you anywhere in New York State.

All residents age 12 or older are currently eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Information on where to get vaccinated is available at and listed on page A2.

Email Cara Chapman:

Twitter: @PPR_carachapman

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