N.Y. COVID rate at pandemic low

Image courtesy the Georgia Dept. of Public Health.

OSWEGO — Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced Tuesday, May 18, that 12 additional residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total cumulative number of positive cases since the county began monitoring for COVID-19 in March 2020 to 7,968. There are currently 122 active positive cases.

Effective Wednesday, May 19, Oswego County will join the State in adopting the CDC’s new guidance on face-masking and social distancing for fully vaccinated people as it relates to county facilities and property.

“As of tomorrow, all fully vaccinated employees and members of the public – those who are more than two weeks past their final COVID-19 vaccine dose – will no longer be required to wear a face mask or maintain social distancing while at work or in county facilities, either indoors or outdoors, unless a face covering is otherwise required by state or federal law, regulation or order,” said Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup.

There are some exceptions, such as that face masks will still be required for everyone on public transportation, in health care settings, schools, homeless shelters, nursing homes and correctional facilities. In addition, individuals and private businesses are allowed to make their own choice about adopting the guidance.

Huang added, “We’ve worked together as a community to get this far and we need to keep the momentum going. Vaccination is the key to getting us all back to ‘normal.’ If you have not had your shot yet, now is the time to go get vaccinated. The vaccines are safe, effective and broadly available now.”

This report is current as of 3 p.m. May 18.

Total - of positive cases currently active: 122

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: 215,278

Total - of negative results: 204,517

Total - of positive cases: 7,968

Total - of positive cases released: 7,756

Total deaths reported by the New York State Department of Health: 90

Total - of people in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 424

The Health Department is offering another mini-clinic next week, Monday, May 24, from 5 to 5:15 p.m. at SUNY Oswego’s Laker Hall, 30 Barnes Dr., Oswego. The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which only requires one dose, will be administered. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, click on the “Fact Sheet” link for each one at https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/.

The link to register for the clinic is posted on the health department’s COVID-19 vaccine page. Go to https://health.oswegocounty.com/ and click on the link for “Local Information About the COVID-19 Vaccination.” The Oswego County COVID-19 Hotline is open from 8:30 am. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to help people make appointments. Call 315-349-3330.

Be sure to check back if the clinic looks like it doesn’t have any appointments available. Appointments may become available if other people cancel or re-schedule theirs or if more vaccine becomes available.

All those attending an Oswego County Health Department vaccination clinic must have proof of age to receive their shot. This includes a drivers’ license, birth certificate, passport or school ID. Those without an appointment and proof of age will not be vaccinated.

The Oswego County Health Department has noticed that some individuals have been reluctant to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine because they don’t have health insurance.

“I want to reassure residents first that there is no charge for the vaccine itself,” said Supervising Public Health Nurse Jodi Martin, with the health department’s preventative services division. “Second, the small administrative fee that gets billed to health insurance will not be charged to individuals. No one will be turned away for lack of health insurance or the inability to pay the fee. All you need is an appointment and proof of age. Go online to our vaccination page or call the Hotline to make an appointment and get vaccinated today.”

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.

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

Chairman Weatherup reminds residents that the virus continues to be active across the county and people should assume they can be exposed to COVID-19 anywhere they go in Central New York. “As restrictions continue to be lifted, I urge all of our residents to protect themselves every time they are in public. Now is not the time to let our guard down.”

Locations of recent public exposure are posted on the health department’s COVID-19 page at health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19.

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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