Wedding, Red’s Ale House Source Of Local COVID Spikes

COVID-19 Spike

Traced To Wedding,

Red’s Ale House

10 Cases At Hartwick; 18 From Nuptials

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

CDC image of coronavurus

COOPERSTOWN –  A weekend trip to Red’s Ale House.

A 75-guest wedding in Cooperstown.

These are the source of the two major outbreaks in the county, with 10 students testing positive at Hartwick College and 18 positives linked to the wedding, including three people living in a group home and a staff member at Cooperstown Elementary School.

“Our challenge with this wedding is that they have not been the best at cooperating,” said Heidi Bond, Otsego County public health director. “We have not yet received the guest list, so we have not been able to notify everyone that they need to quarantine so we can stop the spread.”

And in Oneonta, the 10 Hartwick College students who tested positive over the last week were traced to a gathering at Red’s Ale House, a popular college bar on Main Street. “Many of the students we interviewed said they went to the bar,” she said. “We think that’s where the cluster came from.”

The bar closed voluntarily for cleaning, Bond reported.

Hartwick students have been encouraged to remain on campus and abide by the “social compact,” but the college is now requiring all students to sign a “travel declaration form” prior to leaving the area.

However, she noted that the spread to the Oneonta community has been minimal. “There are very few cases outside of the college in the city,” she said.

Cooperstown Elementary School had to go remote last week after the positive was reported, but returned to in-person learning this morning. According to Bond, the wedding hosts were issued a ticket for violating the public health law prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people.

Since Oct. 1, she said, there have been 84 cases in the county.

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