OSWEGO COUNTY – Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced Monday, Sept. 13, that 390 additional residents have tested positive for COVID-19 this past week. This brings the total cumulative number of positive cases since the county began monitoring for COVID-19 in March 2020 to 9,853.
Currently, there are 516 active positive cases and two additional COVID-19-related deaths reported by the New York State Department of Health.
Huang said, “We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of these people. Every death is a sad development in our efforts to fight this virus and a reminder that it remains rampant in our county.”
Oswego County’s community transmission level remains “high,” according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Huang urges people to protect themselves in public spaces, follow health guidance and get vaccinated.
He also said that the County’s seven-day accumulated case counts remain high, around 400, which is similar to the case counts of several weeks in November and December 2020, before vaccinations were widely available.
“According to the CDC, we have had four hospitalizations in the last seven days,” he said. “That is less than those weeks of last November and December when we had the high case counts. This shows us that the vaccine is working to protect our community. It helps to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death.”
Huang urges all those eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine to get their shot. “Vaccines are widely available throughout the county,” Huang said. “They are available through the County Health Department, at area pharmacies and community health care clinics, and through local physicians and health care providers.”
He also reminded people to keep checking the Health Department’s website at www.health.oswegocounty.com for updated information about vaccine availability. “We may receive more Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine and be able to make all three approved vaccines available in upcoming clinics,” he said.
Oswego County Health Department staff are diligently working to investigate all reported cases as quickly as possible; however, there may be some delays due to resources and other challenges. They have taken on many other tasks this year including inspections for children’s camps and other large events and back-to-school immunizations. They have also run dozens of clinics, sometimes multiple clinics in a single day, and soon, influenza vaccinations will begin.
This report is current as of 1 p.m. Sept. 13.
Total - of positive cases currently active: 516
Total - of people currently in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 1,144
The following numbers are cumulative since the county began monitoring COVID-19 in March 2020. They are updated weekly to show new cases or changes. Those who have been released are not removed from the running total of positive cases.
Total - of tests conducted: 263,821
Total - of negative results: 250,682
Total - of positive cases: 9,853
Total - of positive cases released: 9,245
Total deaths reported by the New York State Department of Health: 99
Schools have opened for the new year and now is a good time for parents to get their students, aged 12 years and older, vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Once fully vaccinated, and if they are symptom-free, students will not need to quarantine if they are exposed to a positive classmate or family member. This is a good thing for parents to keep in mind because it means that getting kids vaccinated will help them stay in school and continue to participate in extracurricular activities.
The Oswego County Health Department will hold another vaccination clinic this week. It is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 15 at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.
Health staff will administer the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine to those aged 12 years and over from 1 to 5: 30 p.m. This is a two-dose vaccine, so those who attend for their first shot, should plan to return on Wednesday, Oct. 6 for their second shot.
“Our COVID-19 vaccine clinics are open to anyone who is eligible for the vaccine, regardless of where they are in the series,” said Oswego County Medical Director Dr. Christina Liepke. “At any of our clinics, patients can come in for their first, second or third dose.”
She added that patients need to talk with their health care provider before they come to the clinic to find out if they should receive a third dose, because only certain people with underlying conditions need it.
“A third dose is different from a booster,” Dr. Liepke explained. “Immuno-compromised patients who need a third dose should get it 28 days (or later) after their second dose. In contrast, a booster is given to all patients several months after they complete their vaccine series.
“The CDC and FDA are reviewing evidence on the potential need for a booster after any of the vaccines,” she said. “Once this review is complete and if booster doses are recommended, we will be offering those as well.”
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, click on the “Fact Sheet” link for each one at https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/.
Walk-ins are welcomed, though appointments and online pre-registration are still appreciated. Call 315-349-3330 to make an appointment or go to https://health.oswegocounty.com/ and click on the link “For Local Information About the COVID-19 Vaccination.” All Oswego County COVID-19 vaccination clinic registration links are posted here.
The Oswego County Office for the Aging can also help people aged 60 and over who need help navigating the internet to make appointments. Call 315-349-3484.
The Health Department continues to partner with Pulaski Urgent Care to bring free COVID-19 rapid testing to county residents. To register for a free COVID-19 test, please call the Oswego County Hotline at 315-349-3330 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
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 Saturday. Call 315-598-1514 to schedule a ride in advance.
Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup reminds residents that the virus is still active, and people should assume they can be exposed to COVID-19 anywhere they go. “With this latest surge, I urge residents to protect themselves in public spaces, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not,” he said. “Now is not the time to abandon safety practices. If you have not been vaccinated yet, it is time to get your shot; to protect yourself, your family and friends, and your community.”
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 12 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. Phone lines are open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information about emotional supports, visit the Oswego County Department of Social Services Division of Mental Hygiene at www.oswegocounty.com/mentalhygiene.
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.