OSWEGO — Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced Thursday, Jan. 7, that 69 additional residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive cases to 4,234. There are two additional COVID-19 related deaths in Oswego County.
“I would like to express our condolences to the families and friends of these two patients,” said Huang. “This is a reminder that the virus is rampant in our county and we all must do our part to protect our families and communities. We must reduce the number of positive cases. This is paramount to preventing future deaths.”
The COVID-19 vaccine is becoming available, on a limited scale, through the New York State Vaccination Program. The State’s Department of Health has set strict schedules for priority groups to be vaccinated and Oswego Health and the Oswego County Health Department are executing vaccinations according to that guidance.
“Last night, we held our first vaccination clinic for these priority groups according to the State’s schedule and the implementation was quite successful,” said Huang.
Oswego County Medical Director Dr. Christina Liepke added, “I am very thankful that Oswego Health was willing to share with us their experience in holding COVID-19 vaccination clinics, which they did very effectively in December. Their collaboration was one of the many keys to the success of this effort. It was wonderful to see so many health care providers from our community eager to come get vaccinated. We are looking forward to holding more vaccination efforts to stem the tide of this pandemic.”
Currently, all frontline health care workers are being vaccinated. This includes out-patient health care workers, public health staff, dentists, diagnostic and treatment center staff, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, residents of nursing homes and staff of skilled nursing facilities and adult care facilities. Hospice and home care workers will be added to the eligibility list next week. The next priority group, which will include residents aged 75 and older and essential workers (as defined by NYSDOH) will become eligible around Feb. 1.
Huang reminded residents that, given the priority groups established by New York State and the 15 to 20 minutes of post injection observation recommended by the CDC, the health department cannot operate clinics on a ‘walk-in’ or ‘drive-thru’ basis. He said, “As we’ve stated before, this process will take several months. We will continue to keep you informed when the vaccine is made available within the New York State guidelines.”
This report is current as of 3 p.m. Jan. 7.
Please know that these numbers fluctuate frequently. Recovered people are not deducted from the total number of positive cases.
Total - of tests conducted: 111,656
Total - of positive cases: 4,234
Total - of positive cases released: 3,135
Total deaths reported by the New York State Department of Health: 51
Total - of positive cases active: 1,048
Total - of negative results: 105,964
Total - of people in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 1,629
Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup reminded 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,” said Chairman Weatherup. “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 potential 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.