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 Wednesday, Feb. 17, that 21 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 6,132. There are currently 157 active positive cases.

“The number of new positive cases in the daily reports is drastically reduced,” he added. “Our seven-day cumulative new positive case counts went from 321 on Feb. 1, to 173 on Feb. 8, to 137 yesterday. Even as these counts decrease, we should not relax our efforts in practicing safety measures. As a community, we must continue our efforts 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 Friday. Call 315-598-1514 to schedule a ride in advance.

This report is current as of 3 p.m. Feb. 17.

Total - of positive cases currently active: 157

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: 144,239

Total - of negative results: 136,017

Total - of positive cases: 6,132

Total - of positive cases released: 5,887

Total deaths reported by the New York State Department of Health: 88

Total - of people in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 393

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 the enthusiasm for taking this next step toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Huang. “Currently in New York State, requests for vaccine far outnumber available vaccine and 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 notify appropriate employers of scheduled clinics. Inconsistent vaccine supply makes vaccine clinic planning difficult, and the small amount of vaccine supply that Oswego County has received is not enough to meet Phase 1a and 1b groups, and our senior citizens’ needs.”

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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