County COVID numbers rise

Image courtesy the Georgia Dept. of Public Health.

OSWEGO — Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced Saturday, Sept. 19 that 27 additional residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive cases in Oswego County to 546.

COVID-19 has been identified in every city and town in Oswego County. Twenty-two of the new cases are associated with the SUNY Oswego community. Huang said the health department and the SUNY Oswego campus health center are in daily contact to make sure that patients and their close contacts are in compliance with isolation and quarantine, their medical and other needs are met, and the reports are timely and accurate.

“The Oswego County Health Department is aware of the differences between the SUNY Oswego and Oswego County COVID-19 dashboards,” said Huang. “This is due to different scopes and timing in reporting.

“The college’s dashboard includes all students, including students from different counties, whereas the county’s dashboard includes only those who are living in Oswego County. Students who went to their home county and tested positive there are included in the college’s numbers but not Oswego County’s. Also, the county and the college have different working procedures and cut-off times for reporting.”

This report is current as of 3 p.m. Sept. 19.

Please know that these numbers fluctuate frequently. Recovered people are not deducted from the total number of positive cases.

- Total - of positive cases: 546

- Total deaths: 4

The Oswego County Health Department investigates all cases and, when appropriate, family members and close contacts are also placed in mandatory quarantine or isolation. All known close contacts of COVID-19 positive patients are notified.

In the event that a person who tests positive for COVID-19 had public exposure when they were contagious and the health department could not contact those at risk individually, a news release is issued. Investigations go back two days prior to symptom onset for symptomatic positive patients, or two days prior to testing for asymptomatic positive patients, up until the time a positive patient is isolated.

Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup urges residents to continue to take every necessary precaution to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. He also reminds businesses and organizations that they must follow New York State guidance and submit a re-opening plan to the state before they can resume serving customers.

“The data shows that COVID-19 is active in our community,” said Chairman Weatherup. “We must continue to take personal responsibility and help prevent the spread of the disease.”

Health officials urge residents to take these precautions:

- Wear a face mask or covering over your nose and mouth.

- Keep six feet from other people.

- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating.

- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

- Stay home if you are sick unless you are seeking health care.

- Call your healthcare provider from home if you are experiencing symptoms such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath.

- Call 911 if you are experiencing life-threatening conditions.

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 asked to continue monitoring reliable sources of information. Go to oswegocounty.com or health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19 for the latest news releases, updates and video presentations. For more information go to cdc.gov.

Additional questions can be directed to the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 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.

Oswego County presents videos highlighting various COVID-19 topics on Tuesday afternoons. They are posted on Oswego County’s COVID-19 playlist on YouTube, Facebook and the county government website at oswegocounty.com.

New York State provides online links to report violations of health and safety restrictions and requirements for businesses, gatherings and individuals. To file a complaint about a business, location or incident in your community, go to https://mylicense.custhelp.com/app/ask. To file a complaint against your employer or place of work, go to https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/coronavirus-complaints.shtm.

Under New York State Public Health Law, the Oswego County Health Department is the sole local public health authority regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response over all persons and entities 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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