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Oswego County Health Department Announces Updates in COVID-19 Response Activities

OSWEGO COUNTY – Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced an update to the weekly COVID-19 report that was issued on Monday, Sept. 13, as well as the availability of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine and additional hours for the COVID-19 Hotline.

As of Monday, Sept. 13, 390 additional residents had tested positive for COVID-19 during the previous week, which brought the new cumulative total of positive cases to 9,783.

“Case numbers can be very fluid at times,” said Huang. “Sometimes we get cases sent to us that belong in another county, and sometimes we don’t get cases that belong here in a timely way. Examples of this would be for local college students whose home address is in another county or our own residents who are going to school in another county.”

Health department staff are diligently working to investigate all reported cases as quickly as possible and Huang advised that there may be some delays due to resources and other challenges. “We’ve taken on many other tasks this year including inspections for children’s camps and other large events and back-to-school immunizations,” he said. “We have been running dozens of clinics since April, sometimes multiple clinics in a single day, and soon, influenza vaccinations will begin.”

The Oswego County Health Department releases a COVID-19 report every Monday afternoon. The next one will be issued on Sept. 20.

Huang also announced that the County Health Department has received the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine, supplies of which were interrupted in recent months. “This means that people who come to one of our clinics next week will have their choice of all three approved COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.

“At this point, we’re not sure how stable the supply will be,” he added. “So, we ask residents to continue checking our website at https://health.oswegocounty.com/ to find out where and when clinics will be scheduled, as well as which vaccines will be available at each one.”

Huang urges all those eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine to get their shot. “The vaccines are working,” he said. Local evidence has shown that they prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death. They are also widely available. You can get your vaccine through the County Health Department, at area pharmacies and community health care clinics, and from local physicians and health care providers.”

The Oswego County Health Department will hold two vaccination clinics next week. The first one will run from 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at Cayuga Community College, 11 River Glen Drive, Fulton. The second one will run from 1 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

Health staff will administer the patient’s choice of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines at the Sept. 21 clinic, and the patient’s choice of the Pfizer (Comirnaty), Moderna or Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines at the Sept. 22 clinic.

The Pfizer (Comirnaty) and Moderna vaccines are both two-dose vaccines and the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one-dose vaccine.

The Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine is approved for those aged 12 years and over. The Moderna and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for those aged 18 years and over.

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

A second clinic is also scheduled for next week. It will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at Cayuga Community College, 11 River Glen Drive, Fulton. Health staff will administer the patient’s choice of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

“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 added that patients 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.

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.

The Oswego County Health Department has also expanded its COVID-19 Hotline hours. Phone lines are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information about COVID-19, call the Hotline at 315-349-3330 or go to the Oswego County Health Department’s COVID-19 page at www.health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19.  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.