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COVID-19 Report for Sept. 7, 2021

OSWEGO COUNTY – Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced today, Sept. 7, that 388 additional residents have tested positive for COVID-19 this past week. This brings the total cumulative number of positive cases since the county began monitoring for COVID-19 in March 2020 to 9,393.

“COVID-19 continues to take a toll on our community as new case counts have been surging in the past two or three weeks,” said Huang. “There are currently 452 active positive cases and two additional COVID-19-related deaths reported by the New York State Department of Health. We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of these people. Every death is a sad development in our efforts to fight this virus and a reminder that it is rampant in our county.”

According to the CDC, Oswego County’s community transmission level remains “high,” and Huang reminds residents to protect themselves in public spaces and get vaccinated.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is working to protect us,” said Huang. “In comparing a pre-vaccination period (Nov. 5 to 27, 2020) with a similar rise in case counts to a current period (Aug. 6 to 27, 2021), we found that, despite the current spike, we had less hospitalizations and deaths in August of this year compared to November of last year.”

He added that, “While fully vaccinated people made up 11 of these hospitalizations and one death (between Aug. 6 to 27, 2021), each of these people had various underlying conditions. It is important to remember that, for most of our residents, the vaccine is quite effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death.”

Oswego County Health Department staff are working hard to monitor this surge in cases and increase vaccinations. In August, they conducted more than two dozen vaccination clinics – many with the help of various local agencies – and administered over 400 shots.

“We encourage everyone eligible for a vaccine to get their shot,” Huang said. “It’s not too late to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community. The more people get vaccinated, the better we can protect those who are not eligible for the vaccine so far, especially those who are very young.”

He also said that COVID-19 vaccines are broadly available throughout the county. “COVID-19 vaccines are available not only at clinics offered by the County Health Department, but also at area pharmacies, and through community health care providers.”

This report is current as of 1 p.m. Sept. 6.

  • Total # of positive cases currently active: 452
  • Total # of people currently in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 903

The following numbers are cumulative since the county began monitoring COVID-19 in March 2020. They are updated weekly to show new cases or changes. Those who have been released are not removed from the running total of positive cases.

  • Total # of tests conducted: 259,281
  • Total # of negative results: 246,720
  • Total # of positive cases: 9,393
  • Total # of positive cases released: 8,850
  • Total deaths reported by the New York State Department of Health: 97

With schools opening for the new year, now is a good time for parents to get their students, aged 12 years and older, vaccinated against COVID-19. Once fully vaccinated, and as long as they are symptom-free, students will not need to quarantine if they are exposed to a positive classmate or family member. This is a good thing for parents to keep in mind because it means that getting kids vaccinated will help them stay in school and continue to participate in extracurricular activities.

The Oswego County Health Department will hold two vaccination clinics this week. The first is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 8 at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego. Health staff will administer the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine to those aged 12 years and over from 1 to 5: 30 p.m. This is a two-dose vaccine, so those who attend should plan to return on Wednesday, Sept. 29 for their second shot.

A second clinic will be held on Thursday, Sept. 9, at the Williamstown Fire Department, located at 575 NYS Rte. 13. From 5 to 7:30 p.m., health staff will administer each person’s choice of either the two-dose Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine, approved for those aged 12 years and older, or the one-dose Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine, approved for those aged 18 years and older. Those who choose the two-dose Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine should plan to return to the Williamstown Fire Department on Thursday, Sept. 30 for their second shot.

“Our COVID-19 vaccine clinics are open to anyone who is eligible for the vaccine, regardless of where they are in the series,” said Oswego County Medical Director Dr. Christina Liepke. “At any of our clinics, patients can come in for their first, second or third dose.”

She continued, “Patients do need to talk with their health care provider before they come to the clinic to find out if they should receive a third dose, because only certain people with underlying conditions need it.”

“A third dose is different from a booster,” she explained. “Immuno-compromised patients who need a third dose should get it 28 days (or later) after their second dose. In contrast, a booster is given to all patients several months after they complete their vaccine series.

The CDC and FDA are reviewing evidence on the potential need for a booster after any of the vaccines. Once this review is complete and if booster doses are recommended, we will be offering those as well.”

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, click on the “Fact Sheet” link for each one at https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/

Walk-ins are welcomed, though appointments and online pre-registration are still appreciated. Call 315-349-3330 to make an appointment or go to https://health.oswegocounty.com/ and click on the link “For Local Information About the COVID-19 Vaccination.” All Oswego County COVID-19 vaccination clinic registration links are posted here.

The Oswego County Office for the Aging can also help people aged 60 and over who need help navigating the internet to make appointments. Call 315-349-3484.

The Health Department continues to partner with Pulaski Urgent Care to bring free COVID-19 rapid testing to county residents. To register for a free COVID-19 test, please call the Oswego County Hotline at 315-349-3330 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

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.

Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup reminds residents that the virus is still active, and people should assume they can be exposed to COVID-19 anywhere they go. “With this latest surge, I urge residents to protect themselves in public spaces, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not,” he said. “Now is not the time to abandon safety practices. If you have not been vaccinated yet, it is time to get your shot; to protect yourself, your family and friends, and your community.”

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.

Residents are urged to continue taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including:

  • Get vaccinated if you are 12 years of age or older.
  • Stay home if you are sick and keep your children home if they are sick.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Keep six feet distance between you and those you do not live with, especially if you are unvaccinated.
  • Wear a face mask inside public spaces you visit or patronize, where you work, or in crowded outdoor settings, regardless of your vaccination status.
  • All residents should follow COVID-19 prevention measures local businesses and workplaces may have in place. Check the New York State website at forward.ny.gov for additional guidance.

 For more information, go to the Oswego County Health Department’s COVID-19 page at health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19 or call its COVID-19 Hotline at 315-349-3330. Phone lines are open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 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.

Under New York State Public Health Law, the Oswego County Health Department is the local public health authority regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response 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.