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COVID-19 Report for Nov. 20, 2020

OSWEGO COUNTY – Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced today, Nov. 20, that 52 additional residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive cases to 1,357. One thousand sixty-two people have been released from isolation. There are five confirmed COVID-19 related deaths in Oswego County. 

“So far, our three highest single-day positive reports were on Saturday, Sept. 12 with 42; Friday, Nov. 13 with 51; and today with 52,” said Huang. “It took two months to break the previous record high, and now it took only a week. This means that the virus is now spreading faster in our communities than it was before. This is due to social gatherings and community spread. I implore my fellow residents to improve their preventive measures and help slow the spread. I cannot stress this enough. Please wear a face mask, social distance, avoid social gatherings and wash your hands frequently.”

He also gave an update about the COVID-19 hotline. “We’ve received a lot of calls from people asking why people who’ve tested positive have not received a call from the health department or why it takes some time to reach those who are placed in quarantine,” he said. “My answer is to remind people that our staffers have been working extremely hard these past few weeks and months. Many of them have not had a single day off in the last three weeks; working through the last two weekends. Disease investigation and the daily follow-up is an expertise that cannot be duplicated quickly as the cases increase. We are doing our best, but I ask residents for their understanding right now.”

Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup agreed, “The COVID-19 virus is now rampant in our county,” he said. “Many of the recent cases are the result of social gatherings. If we want to slow the spread of the virus, we need to change our behaviors. Each one of us must take personal responsibility so that we can avoid additional restrictions and future shutdowns.”

This report is current as of 3 p.m. Nov. 20.

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

  • Total # of tests conducted: 74,546
  • Total # of positive cases: 1,357
  • Total # of positive cases released: 1,062
  • Total deaths: 5
  • Total # of positive cases active: 290
  • Total # of negative results: 72,925
  • Total # of people in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 1,057

A large number of cases in Oswego County are being spread among household members. 

Senior Public Health Educator Diane Oldenburg emphasizes, “If you are sick, it is important that you stay home and isolate yourself from other household members. Those who are sick should sleep alone in a separate room, designate a separate bathroom for their use, or disinfect the bathroom after each use.  Wash your hands frequently, cover your coughs and sneezes, wear a mask if you must be in common areas of the household, and keep six feet apart whenever possible.”

Supervising Public Health Nurse Jodi Martin said the holidays need to be celebrated differently this year. “Make plans to celebrate with only your household members,” she said. “Even small gatherings of families from out of town or other households could lead to the spread of COVID-19.” 

Health officials strongly urge residents to take these precautions:

  • Stay home if you are sick and keep your children home if they are sick.
  • Wear a face mask or covering over your nose and mouth.
  • Avoid non-essential gatherings of all types.
  • 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.
  • Call your healthcare provider from home if you are experiencing symptoms such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  • Do not go to the emergency department unless 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.

A list of testing sites and additional information is posted on the health department’s COVID-19 page at health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19.

For more information, call 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.

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.