St. Lawrence County adds one COVID-19 death

Image courtesy the Georgia Dept. of Public Health.

Hospitalizations on the Rise for Those in Younger Age Groups

OSWEGO COUNTY – An additional 39 Oswego County residents were hospitalized due to COVID-19 between Sunday, Jan. 2 and Saturday, Jan. 8, according to the hospitalization report received by the Oswego County Health Department. New hospitalization numbers are not part of a running total of hospitalizations.

61.54% of those hospitalized were not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated; and 25.64% were fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated is defined as having had two doses of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 12.83% were fully vaccinated with a booster or third dose.

The age distribution of these 39 new patients is: 12.82% aged 0 to 18 years; 17.95% aged 19 to 45 years; 33.33% aged 46 to 64 years; and 35.90% aged 65 years and above.

“As COVID-19 cases continue to surge, hospitalization numbers have risen in recent weeks,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “We’ve noticed that most hospitalized cases were not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated. Also, looking at the percentages, we can see that there is a trend of increased hospitalizations in those younger than 65 years of age.”

He added, “If you are eligible for the vaccine, please make sure your shots are up-to-date. This means, if you have not received your first or second doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, please go to get fully vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated but have not received your booster dose or third dose, please go get your booster or third dose shots.”

As of Sunday, Jan. 9, 30,537 County residents have received their third shot or booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The vaccine remains a powerful tool that will help protect people from severe symptoms, hospitalization and death,” said Huang. “The vaccine is widely available across the county – at your doctor’s office, in your pharmacy, from the County’s vaccination clinics.”

He went on to announce that an additional 2,113 residents tested positive for COVID-19 this past week. This includes data reported from Monday, Jan. 3 through Sunday, Jan. 9. These new cases bring the total cumulative number of positive cases since the county began monitoring for COVID-19 in March 2020 to 20,804. In addition, three more COVID-19-related deaths were reported by the NYS Department of Health, bringing the total to 151.

The rise in COVID-19 cases has led to a delay in investigations, through which isolation and quarantine paperwork is issued. Those who have tested positive for the virus – or who have been in close contact with someone who has – and haven’t been contacted by an investigator can go to the health department’s website to download and print the appropriate self-reported isolation and quarantine paperwork. Go to https://health.oswegocounty.com/information/2019_novel_coronavirus/isolation_quarantine_guidance.php. For those who don’t have computer or internet access, please call the County’s COVID-19 Hotline at 315-349-3330.

Oswego County is developing a COVID-19 portal that residents can use to report their positive at-home COVID-19 test results. An additional link will be provided in the near future for this self-reporting.

The Oswego County Health Department changed its COVID-19 reporting format due to changes in COVID-19 activity.

This report reflects data collected on Friday, Jan. 7:

Number of people tested: 970

Number of positive cases: 222

This report reflects data collected on Saturday, Jan. 8:

Number of people tested: 933

Number of positive cases: 261

This report reflects data collected on Sunday, Jan. 9:

Number of people tested: 1,385

Number of positive cases: 414

The Oswego County Health Department continues to hold COVID-19 vaccine clinics on Wednesdays at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

On Wednesday, Jan. 12, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., health staff will administer the Moderna vaccine. First, second and booster doses are available.

On Friday, Jan. 14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the health department will host a pediatric COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Health staff will administer first doses only of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine to children aged 5 to 11 years. Appointments are required for this clinic. Call the County’s COVID-19 Hotline at 315-349-3330.

On Friday, Jan. 21, from 3 to 5 p.m., health staff will administer only booster doses of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine to those aged 12 years and above.

On Wednesday, Jan. 26, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., health staff will administer the patient’s choice of either the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine. First, second, third (for immune-compromised only) and booster doses are available for the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine. The single shot vaccine and booster doses are still available for the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Oswego County Office for the Aging can help people aged 60 and over who need help navigating the internet to make appointments. Call 315-349-3484.

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

The Health Department’s COVID-19 vaccine clinics are open to anyone 12 years of age and older. Children aged 5 to 11 years can get the pediatric vaccine through their school district, local pharmacy or health care provider.

The Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine is approved for those aged 5 years and over. It is a two-dose vaccine series. Currently, the booster is only approved for those aged 16 and over, six months after their second shot.

The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine is approved for those aged 18 years and over. It is a one-dose vaccine, and the booster is only approved for those aged 18 and over, two months after their initial dose.

The Moderna vaccine is approved for those aged 18 years and over. It is a two-dose vaccine series. The booster is only approved for those aged 18 year and over, six months after their second shot.

Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup reminds residents that Oswego County continues to have a high community transmission level according to the CDC. “If you have not been vaccinated yet, now is time to get your shot -- not only to protect yourself, but your family and friends, and your community as well,” he said.

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.

Residents are urged to continue taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including:

Get vaccinated if you are 5 years of age or older.

Stay home if you are sick and keep your children home if they are sick.

Wash your hands often.

Keep six feet distance between you and those you do not live with, especially if you are unvaccinated.

Wear a face mask inside public spaces you visit or patronize, where you work, or in crowded outdoor settings, regardless of your vaccination status.

All residents should follow COVID-19 prevention measures local businesses and workplaces may have in place. Check the New York State website at forward.ny.gov for additional guidance.

For more information, go to the Oswego County Health Department’s COVID-19 page at health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19 or call its COVID-19 Hotline at 315-349-3330. The county’s COVID-19 hotline is open seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Call volume remains high, and at times callers may need to leave a message and a staff member will return your call.

Residents should also contact their medical providers directly for personal medical advice about COVID-19 and vaccinations or booster shots.

For information about emotional supports, visit the Oswego County Department of Social Services Division of Mental Hygiene at www.oswegocounty.com/mentalhygiene.

Effective Dec. 13, New York State requires that masks must be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a full-course vaccination requirement. Oswego County government requires that masks be worn inside all county government facilities.

Under New York State Public Health Law, the Oswego County Health Department is the local public health authority regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response within the County of Oswego. The Oswego County Health Department works closely with New York State Department of Health regarding COVID-19 monitoring, response, and reporting.

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