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COVID-19 Report for Feb. 18, 2021

OSWEGO COUNTY – Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced today, Feb. 18, that 18 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 6,150. There are currently 161 active positive cases.

Huang also reported another COVID-19-related death. “We are sad to report that we have lost another neighbor,” he said. “Every death is an unfortunate development in our efforts to fight this virus and something that we never want to see. I would like to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of this patient.”

Still, the number of new COVID-19 positive cases in the daily reports continues to decrease. Huang reminded residents, “Even as the seven-day cumulative new positive case counts go down, we should not relax our efforts in following the safety protocols. 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 now available between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 315-598-1514 to schedule a ride in advance.

This report is current as of 3 p.m. Feb. 18.

  • Total # of positive cases currently active: 161

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: 144,797
  • Total # of negative results: 136,553
  • Total # of positive cases: 6,150
  • Total # of positive cases released: 5,900
  • Total deaths reported by the New York State Department of Health: 89
  • Total # of people in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 402

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.”

New York State has a wide network of vaccine dispensers. It has assigned hospitals to vaccinate the Phase 1a population of doctors, nurses, and medical workers. Local health departments are charged with vaccinating essential workers identified as part of Phase 1b – first responders, educators, front-line workers facing the public such as cashiers, and others. Local pharmacies are charged with vaccinating those aged 65 and older. 

Clinics are usually not scheduled until the provider knows how much vaccine they are receiving from the state, so people need to keep checking the websites frequently.

People aged 65 and over who need assistance may also call the Oswego County Office for the Aging at 315-349-3484 for help navigating the internet in making appointments.

Eligibility determination and a list of nearby providers where appointments can be scheduled are available through New York’s “Am I Eligible?” app at https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ or by calling the New York State Vaccination Hotline, 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829).

Please continue to check this page https://health.oswegocounty.com/information/2019_novel_coronavirus/covid-19_vaccine.php for updated clinic information.

Oswego County is part of the CNY Regional Vaccination Network.  Click here for more information: https://www.upstate.edu/coronavirus/covidvaccine/.

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.

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 health care 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.

More information is posted on the health department’s COVID-19 page at health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19.

Call the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 hotline at 315-349-3330 if you have any questions. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. It is closed on Sundays and holidays. 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.