Untitled Document

COVID-19 Report for Sept. 20, 2021

OSWEGO COUNTY – Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced today, Sept. 20, that 412 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 10,195.

Currently, there are 482 active positive cases and one additional COVID-19-related death reported by the New York State Department of Health.

“I’m sorry to say that we’ve lost another neighbor and I extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of this person,” said Huang. “While every death is a sad development in our efforts to fight this virus, this marks the 100th death for Oswego County. It is a stark reminder that the COVID-19 virus remains rampant in our county, and we must all do what we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Oswego County’s community transmission level remains “high,” and new cases of hospitalization were 300% higher this past week, compared to the previous seven days.

“As new daily case counts have continued to increase during the last week, we have now crossed the threshold of 10,000 COVID-19-positive County residents since the beginning of the pandemic,” Huang said. “I strongly urge people to protect themselves in public spaces, follow health guidance and get vaccinated.”

Across the county, more than 40.7% of our vaccine-eligible residents have not been vaccinated yet; about 3,000 of them are not fully vaccinated. “Those who are unvaccinated – or not fully vaccinated – are at a higher risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus than those who are fully vaccinated,” he said.

Huang reminds residents that local evidence has shown that the vaccines are protecting our community. “The vaccines prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death,” he said.

He went on to explain that during the week of Sept. 5 through 11, 409 new cases of COVID-19 were reported. “Among those 409 new positive cases, 374 of them were people whose vaccination status was known and 35 were people whose vaccination status was unknown,” he said. “Of the 374 people with known vaccination status, 129 of them were fully vaccinated, but tested positive for COVID-19, known as ‘break-through’ cases.

“For those 129 break-through cases, investigations and verifications are still ongoing,” he continued. “But what we know so far is that 71 of those cases were residents aged 65 years or older. The remaining 58 cases were aged 64 years and younger and, among those, at least half of them have underlying health conditions.”

Huang also reminds residents that Oswego County Health Department staff are working diligently to investigate all reported cases as quickly as possible. “With all of our schools now open, we are increasing our investigation team and prioritizing school children and staff cases. Still, we need time to train these additional people. We are working seven days a week and often hop from one to another of our many pandemic mitigation tasks every day. I ask our residents for their understanding and support through this challenging time. We will get through this together.”

This report is current as of 1 p.m. Sept. 20.

  • Total # of positive cases currently active: 482
  • Total # of people currently in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 1,496

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: 269,632
  • Total # of negative results: 256,038
  • Total # of positive cases: 10,195
  • Total # of positive cases released: 9,620
  • Total deaths reported by the New York State Department of Health: 100

As Huang continues to urge all those eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine to get their shot, he reminds residents that COVID-19 vaccines are widely available. People can get vaccinated through the County Health Department, at area pharmacies and community health care clinics, and by local physicians and health care providers.

The Oswego County Health Department will hold two vaccination clinics this 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.

“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.

With schools re-opened for the new year, now is a good time for parents to get their students, aged 12 years and older, vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

“Once fully vaccinated, and if they are symptom-free, students will not need to quarantine if they are exposed to a positive classmate or family member,” said Oswego County Senior Public Health Educator Diane Oldenburg. “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.”

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 www.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 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

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.