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Image courtesy the Georgia Dept. of Public Health.

OSWEGO — Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced Wednesday, April 7, that 24 additional residents 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 7,166. There are currently 203 active positive cases.

Huang has noticed a recent increase of second-dose appointment cancellations. “Like all medicines, vaccines should follow the physician’s prescription to achieve their full effectiveness,” he said. “The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are designed, approved and prescribed to be received as a two-dose vaccine series. To fully protect yourself and your loved ones, please make sure that you receive both doses.”

The Pfizer vaccine requires a three-week interval between the two shots and the Moderna vaccine requires a four-week interval. The two vaccines are not interchangeable.

“Cancelling your second-dose appointment makes it very difficult to re-schedule because the second-dose distribution plan duplicates the vaccine brand and quantity administered from the first-dose clinic,” he explained. “When you’re making your first appointment, pay attention to when you’ll have to return for your second dose to make sure that you can keep both appointments and get both doses. I urge residents who have an upcoming appointment for their second dose, to please keep their appointments. Get your second shot to get fully vaccinated so we can all get through this pandemic.”

He also reminded residents to follow COVID-19 safety protocols, regardless of their vaccine status. This includes wearing a face mask, social distancing, washing hands frequently and avoiding non-essential gatherings.

This report is current as of 3 p.m. April 7.

Total - of positive cases currently active: 203

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: 180,620

Total - of negative results: 170,929

Total - of positive cases: 7,166

Total - of positive cases released: 6,873

Total deaths reported by the New York State Department of Health: 90

Total - of people in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 497

The Oswego County Health Department continues to partner 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 Cayuga Community College, 11 River Glen Drive, Fulton. It runs from 8 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, April 13. Registration is required. Go to https://health.oswegocounty.com/information/2019_novel_coronavirus/free_covid-19_testing.php.

Huang also advises residents to make an appointment and get vaccinated as soon as they can. “There are more agencies in the county that can administer the vaccine to more people now,” he said. “They include Oswego Hospital, Connext Care, and many local pharmacies.”

The Oswego County Health Department is planning another Janssen/Johnson and Johnson vaccine clinic in Fulton on Saturday, April 10. While the clinic is fully booked now, people are encouraged to keep checking back as appointments may become available if other people cancel or re-schedule theirs.

Appointments are required for all vaccination clinics. Go to https://health.oswegocounty.com/ and click on the link for “Local Information About the COVID-19 Vaccination.” The Oswego County COVID-19 Hotline is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to help people make appointments. Call 315-349-3330.

All those attending an Oswego County Health Department vaccination clinic must have an appointment and bring proof of eligibility, such as proof of age. Other acceptable proofs include pay stubs, work ID, or a letter from health care provider. Those without an appointment and proof of eligibility will not be vaccinated.

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.

The Oswego County Office for the Aging can now help people aged 60 and over who need help navigating the internet in making appointments. Call 315-349-3484 for assistance.

Chairman Weatherup reminds residents that the virus continues to be widespread across the county and people should assume they can be exposed to COVID-19 anywhere they go in Central New York. “As restrictions continue to be lifted, I urge all of our residents to protect themselves every time they are in public. Now is not the time to let our guard down.”

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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