Officials blame golf outings for a COVID-19 outbreak that has affected four stores and two daycares in the Upper Hudson Valley.

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On Tuesday, Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb announced that currently 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county can be traced to two July golf outings.

The golf outings in question were held July 10-11 and July 24. Neither was an organized tournament event and neither golf course was located in Columbia County.

To date, the widespread outbreak has affected four retail outlets and the Department of Health also reports that there are positive cases in two private daycare settings within the county.

Columbia County officials didn't provide the name of the golf courses, retail stores or daycares.

“In the world of COVID-19, golf, as a game played outdoors, places you at very low risk of contracting the virus. The likely spread of the virus in this case came from people not wearing a mask and not social distancing when done playing. This outbreak is the likely result of a group of friends getting together and not doing what they should have done when off the course,” Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said.

The 15 confirmed cases did not necessarily result from playing golf together, but more likely from not wearing face masks and not observing proper social distancing, according to Mabb.

As of Tuesday morning, many of the 102 people currently under mandatory quarantine in the county are connected to the golf outing outbreak, officials say. Mabb stress that anyone who was there, or has had contact with any of the confirmed positive cases, would have been contacted by the county Department of Health by now through the contact tracing program and advised if quarantine measures needed to be implemented.

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