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COVID-19 Report for Oct. 11, 2021

OSWEGO COUNTY – Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced today, Oct. 11, that 564 additional residents 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 11,656.

Currently, there are 601 active positive cases. Two additional COVID-19-related deaths have been reported by the New York State Department of Health. Huang expressed, “Our deepest condolences go out to the loved ones of these patients.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Oswego County’s community transmission level remains “high,” and 66% of vaccine-eligible residents are fully vaccinated.

Huang said that, despite the drop in COVID-19 cases across the country since mid-September, Oswego County’s seven-day accumulated case counts continue to rise – reaching over 500. “Among the cases, close to 30% are school-related,” he said.

“We compared cases reported between the first seven days of August 2021 to seven days in mid- September, the 16th through the 22nd,” he explained. “Positive cases among those who are fully vaccinated went down from 31% in August to 29% in September, while the positive cases in those who are unvaccinated increased from 66% to 69% in the same time period. The remaining small percentages were cases in which the vaccination status of the individual was not verifiable.

“It’s worth noting that positive COVID-19 cases in the age group that is not eligible for the vaccine increased drastically – from 6% in August to 22% in September,” Huang added. “The percentage of positive cases among vaccine-eligible age groups; however, were either reduced or only slightly increased.”

Huang continues to urge those who are eligible for the vaccine to get vaccinated. “In Oswego County, we still have only two-thirds of those who are vaccine-eligible fully vaccinated. To better protect our community and make everyone safe, please get your shot today.”

He also reminded residents that they may continue to find that contact investigations, as well as isolation and quarantine notifications, are still behind. “These delays are due to a number of causes, including the increase of cases, lab processing, the reporting of testing providers, and dual-channel isolation and quarantine notifications, as well as staff-shortage during the long weekend,” Huang said. “In addition, the County Health Department continues to prioritize school-related cases.”

This report is current as of 1 p.m. Oct. 11.

  • Total # of positive cases currently active: 601
  • Total # of people currently in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 1,999

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: 290,364
  • Total # of negative results: 275,114
  • Total # of positive cases: 11,656
  • Total # of positive cases released: 10,955
  • Total deaths reported by the New York State Department of Health: 109

“We continue to see that most COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are in those who are unvaccinated,” said Oswego County Medical Director Dr. Christina Liepke. “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 hosts COVID-19 vaccine clinics from 1 to 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

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

On Wednesday, Oct. 13, health staff will administer the patient’s choice of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine between 1 and 5:30 p.m., and the Moderna vaccine between 5 and 5:30 p.m. only.

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.

Although walk-ins are welcome, online pre-registration is encouraged and appreciated for the clinic’s efficiency. Those who would like a Pfizer booster must pre-register. 

People can pre-register online at https://health.oswegocounty.com/information/2019_novel_coronavirus/covid-19_vaccine.php or by calling the COVID-19 Hotline at 315-349-3330.

“Many people are anxious to receive a booster now that both the CDC and FDA have recommended Pfizer boosters,” said Dr. Liepke. “However, it is important to note that if you are like myself, having received the Moderna vaccine many months ago, or if you received the Janssen vaccine, you are not eligible for the Pfizer booster. This should not be alarming as studies show that the COVID-19 vaccines are still very effective, even several months later, at helping to lower your risk of hospitalization and death if you get COVID-19.”

The CDC recommends that certain groups of people get the Pfizer booster six months from their last dose of Pfizer. They include:

  • Those who are 65 years old and over.
  • People who are 18 years old and over and live in a long-term care setting such as a nursing home.
  • Those who are 50 to 64 years old with certain underlying medical conditions (HIV, active cancer, COPD, asthma, chronic kidney disease, sickle cell, obesity, heart disease, chronic liver disease, immune deficiency, diabetes, or history of solid organ transplant or STEM cell transplant etc.).

The CDC further states that the following groups MAY get the Pfizer booster if they choose to:

  • Those who are 18 to 49 years old with certain underlying medical conditions mentioned above.
  • Those who are 18 to 64 years old and work in a setting that puts them at high risk of COVID-19 exposure. This includes first responders such as police, fire, and health care workers, as well as those who work in grocery stores, food and agricultural sites, education and daycare facilities, manufacturing and public transit places, correctional facilities, and the US Postal Service.

The Oswego County Office for the Aging can 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 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

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 people should assume they can be exposed to COVID-19 anywhere they go. “As this surge continues, 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, now is time to get your shot. Not only to protect yourself, but your family and friends, and your community as well.”

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 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 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.