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Image courtesy the Georgia Dept. of Public Health.

OSWEGO — Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced Monday, March 1, that 26 additional residents tested positive for COVID-19 between Saturday, Feb. 27, and Monday, March 1. This brings the total cumulative number of positive cases since the county began monitoring for COVID-19 in March 2020 to 6,307. There are currently 119 active positive cases.

Huang said he is concerned because the data shows that the virus is still active in the community.

“In looking at the data over the past three months, we see that the rate of new positive cases declined in February,” said Huang. “But even so, our 7-day accumulated counts in February were much higher than the pre-vaccine period in October 2020. At that time, our community’s natural immune rate was about 0.5 percent.

We started the vaccinations in January. In February 2021, our community reached more than 5 percent natural immune rate, and more than 10 percent of our residents had received the vaccine.

“If the natural and vaccinated immunity has worked in our community, we should have seen a drastic reduction in our 7-day case counts. But we haven’t seen that yet,” he said. “This means that the virus continues to be very active in our community. All of us need to continue to practice our preventive measures. I urge our residents to wear a face mask, keep social distancing, wash their hands frequently and avoid non-essential gatherings.”

This report is current as of 3 p.m. March 1.

Total - of positive cases currently active: 119

The following numbers are cumulative since the county began monitoring COVID-19 in March 2020. They are updated weekdays to show new cases or changes. Those who have been released are not removed from the running total.

Total - of tests conducted: 152,509

Total - of negative results: 144,045

Total - of positive cases: 6,307

Total - of positive cases released: 6,099

Total deaths reported by the New York State Department of Health: 89

Total - of people in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 307

The Oswego County Health Department is administering vaccines to eligible groups in the most efficient way possible.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 4, the Oswego County Health Department will post links to the health department clinic appointments on Thursday mornings on their website at health.oswegocounty.com. The vaccination hotline will be open from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursdays at 315-349-3383. Appointments are expected to fill quickly.

“We are happy that so many in our community are interested in being vaccinated to help end this pandemic,” said Huang. “We anticipate additional appointments being available weekly, and we ask residents to please be patient and check back often.

Free transportation is available to residents to go to COVID-19 test and vaccination sites through a partnership between Oswego County and Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. Transportation is available Monday through Saturday between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Call 315-598-1514 to schedule a ride in advance.

Oswego County is part of the CNY Regional Vaccination Network. Click here for more information: https://www.upstate.edu/coronavirus/covidvaccine/.

Locations of recent public exposure are posted on the health department’s COVID-19 page at health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19. The public is urged to protect themselves as if they could potentially be exposed every time they are in public.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, chills, repeated shaking with chills, gastrointestinal illness and new loss of taste or smell.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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