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Image courtesy of the Georgia Department of Public Health.

OSWEGO — Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced Monday, June 21, that 4 new residents have tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.

There were no new cases reported on Saturday and four were reported on Sunday. This brings the total cumulative number of positive cases since the county began monitoring for COVID-19 in March 2020 to 8,118. There are currently 21 active positive cases.

Beginning today, Oswego County will issue a weekly COVID-19 report every Monday which covers the previous seven days. In this first weekly report, nine cases of COVID-19 were already reported in last week’s daily reports from Monday, June 14 through Friday, June 18. Next Monday’s report will include new cases reported today through Sunday, June 27.

This transition allows the health and other departments to focus resources on vaccination clinics and other COVID-19 recovery activities.

“Thanks to all of the hard work we have done as a community to reduce the spread of the virus and lower new case counts. The County’s 7-day case counts continue reducing and CDC has placed the County to the ‘low community transmission’,” said Huang. “But our work is not done. We know that the virus is still in our communities and some pockets of Oswego County and its population have low vaccination rates. New variants continue to be a potential threat as well. Because of these things, we must increase COVID-19 vaccinations. The health department keeps working with local communities to promote vaccination.”

Huang urges residents to get vaccinated if they are eligible and to encourage their eligible family members and friends to get the vaccine as well. “The vaccines are safe, effective and widely available,” he said. “They are also free, and residents don’t need to have health insurance. There is no out-of-pocket expense to get a shot.

He also reminds residents to be sure to keep their second dose appointments for the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. “There is still time for every resident to do their part to help us get this virus under control and make our communities safe for everyone.”

This report is current as of 3 p.m. June 21.

Total - of positive cases currently active: 21

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

Total - of tests conducted: 231,928

Total - of negative results: 220,765

Total - of positive cases: 8,118

Total - of positive cases released: 8,005

Total deaths reported by the New York State Department of Health: 92

Total - of people in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 131

With regional and local agencies’ support and many community volunteer’s participation, the county health department has run more than 50 clinics since January 2021. The Health Department continues its efforts to vaccinate more residents. Appointments are currently available for those aged 18 years and over for the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine and Pfizer vaccine is available for those 12 years and over this Wednesday June 23 at Oswego County Opportunities, 9 4th Ave., Suite 11, Oswego. Appointments are available between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

On June 30, 2021, between 1-3, the department will hold its first walk-in clinic. To reduce wait time to register that day and maintain the efficiency of clinic operations, pre-registration online will open tomorrow. Online registration is not required but is appreciated. Walk-in is welcome.

Visit the department’s COVID-19 vaccine page for details. 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.

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

The Oswego County COVID-19 Hotline is also available to help people make appointments and answer any COVID-19-related questions. It is open 8:30 am. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 315-349-3330.

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.

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

The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine approved for those aged 12 and above right now. The Moderna and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines are both only approved for those aged 18 and above. For information about the COVID-19 vaccines, click on the “Fact Sheet” link for each one at https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/.

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

“I want to reassure residents that there is no charge for the vaccine,” said Supervising Public Health Nurse Jodi Martin, with the health department’s preventative services division. “The small administrative fee that gets billed to health insurance is not 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.

Chairman Weatherup reminds residents that the virus is still active, and people should assume they can be exposed to COVID-19 anywhere they go. “With restrictions lifted, I urge residents to protect themselves in public spaces, especially if they are not vaccinated,” he said. “Now is not the time to let our guard down and abandon safety practices. If you have not been vaccinated yet, now is the time to get your shot.”

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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