N.Y. COVID infection rate lowest since November

Image courtesy the Georgia Dept. of Public Health.

OSWEGO — Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced Monday, Feb. 22, that 45 additional residents have 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 6,219. There are currently 131 active positive cases.

“The 45 positive cases reported today are a combined total from the last three days,” said Huang. “There were 15 new cases reported each day on Saturday, Sunday, and today.”

He reminded residents that, although the daily counts are lower than what they were in the last two months, the virus is still active in our community. “We must continue our efforts in following the safety protocols,” he said. “As a community, we have to remain vigilant to protect ourselves, our families and our neighbors. Wear a face mask, social distance, wash your hands frequently and avoid non-essential gatherings.”

Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup added, “This downward trend is very encouraging. It shows that the work we’ve done is making a difference against the virus. Still, we’re not out of the woods yet. We’re increasing COVID-19 testing, tracing close contacts and vaccinating eligible people as soon as we have vaccine available. We ask residents to continue to be patient and maintain safe behaviors.”

The Oswego County Health Department is partnering with Pulaski Urgent Care to bring free COVID-19 rapid testing to various sites around the county. The next stop for the mobile unit will be at the Hannibal High School, 928 Cayuga St., Hannibal. It runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Registration is required. Go to https://apps2.health.ny.gov/doh2/applinks/cdmspr/2/counties?DateID=BB76EF0B3295136EE0530A6C7C16B3A9.

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

This report is current as of 3 p.m. Feb. 22.

Total - of positive cases currently active: 131

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: 147,517

Total - of negative results: 139,182

Total - of positive cases: 6,219

Total - of positive cases released: 5,999

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

Total - of people in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 331

The Oswego County Health Department is administering vaccines to eligible groups in the most efficient way possible. For details, please go to the New York State phased distribution guidelines at https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/phased-distribution-vaccine-phase-1a---phase-1b.

“It is wonderful to know that many of our community members are anxious for this vaccine and we share in their enthusiasm for taking this next step toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Huang. “At this time, requests for the vaccine continue to outnumber the amount of vaccine that is available. In addition, delivery of the vaccine was unfortunately interrupted last week by inclement weather across the country. We continue to ask for patience as we work through this process together. As vaccine becomes available in Oswego County for eligible groups, we will announce scheduled clinics and the targeted populations to be vaccinated by the local health department as directed by the state.”

Chairman Weatherup reminds residents that the virus is widespread throughout the county and people should assume they can be exposed to COVID-19 anywhere they go in Central New York. “I urge all of our residents to take action and do their part to stop the spread of this disease,” he said. “Wear a face mask over your nose and mouth in public, wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing. Comply with isolation and quarantine rules and, most importantly, avoid non-essential gatherings.”

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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