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COVID-19 Report for Nov. 15, 2021

OSWEGO COUNTY – Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced today, Nov. 15, that 492 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 13,801.

Currently, there are 580 active positive cases and four more COVID-19-related deaths. “I’m sorry to report that we’ve lost four more neighbors to this disease,” said Huang. “Their deaths are a setback in our battle against COVID-19 and our condolences go out to their families and friends.”

Oswego County Medical Director Christina Liepke, MD said that the number of new cases has taken a sharp upturn this week. “We nearly doubled the number of new positive cases compared to last year in the same time frame,” she said.

“These higher numbers of COVID-19 infections are also, unfortunately, affecting our youth more now than last year,” Dr. Liepke added. “In the last eight days, there have been 67 new cases in children ages 5 to 11, making up 12% of new infections. This as compared to last year, when there were only 11 new cases in the same time period, making up 4% of new infections during that time. 

“Sadly, we’ve also been made aware of a small number of hospitalizations in this same age group this year,” she continued. “I urge parents to consider vaccinating their children as we see the number of 5- to 11-year-old children being infected and hospitalized continue to rise.”

With federal authorization of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years, the County Health Department continues to work with ConnextCare to offer pediatric vaccination clinics at local school districts. Appointments are required for all clinics and each school district has sent out links to families to sign up. Parents can also call their school district office or the County’s COVID-19 Hotline at 315-349-3330 to register.

The health department is also working with local health care providers and area pharmacies to vaccinate children aged 5 to 11 years. Additional pediatric COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be held at Kinney Drugs in Fulton (315-593-2158www.kinneydrugs.com); Kinney Drugs in Mexico (315-963-0601www.kinneydrugs.com); and Walgreen’s in Fulton (315-598-2380www.walgreens.com).

Huang reminds residents that the COVID-19 virus is still active in our county. “This puts those who are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated at a higher risk of contracting the disease and developing severe cases,” he said. “I encourage those who are eligible for the vaccine to get their shot and help us protect our communities. Working together, we can make this county safer and healthier.”

This report is current as of 1 p.m. Nov. 15.

  • Total # of positive cases currently active: 580
  • Total # of people currently in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 1,487

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: 320,630
  • Total # of negative results: 302,075
  • Total # of positive cases: 13,801
  • Total # of positive cases released: 13,103
  • Total deaths reported by the New York State Department of Health: 126

COVID-19 vaccines are widely available through the County Health Department, at area pharmacies and community health care clinics, and through local physicians and health care providers.

The Oswego County Health Department continues to host COVID-19 vaccine clinics from 1 to 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego. Please note that there will not be a clinic scheduled on Wednesday, Nov. 24 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

This Wednesday, Nov. 17, health department 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.

This clinic includes first, second or third doses of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna vaccines, the one-dose Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and the Pfizer (Comirnaty) and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson boosters. Those eligible for a booster must register in advance.

A separate clinic is scheduled for the Moderna booster. It will run from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29 at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego. Advanced registration is required for a booster shot.  

The Health Department’s COVID-19 vaccine clinics are open to anyone 12 years of age and older. The Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine is approved for those aged 5 years and over. Children aged 5 to 11 years can get the pediatric vaccine through their school district, local pharmacies, or their health care provider. The Moderna and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for those aged 18 years and over. The Pfizer (Comirnaty) and Moderna vaccines are both two-dose vaccines and the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one-dose vaccine.

Walk-ins are welcome; however, online registration is encouraged and appreciated for the clinic’s efficiency. 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.

The CDC recommends that people who had the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine get a booster shot with any of the three available vaccines two months after their initial shot.

For those who received the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna vaccines, the CDC states that the following people SHOULD get a booster shot six months from their last dose:

  • 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, for those who received the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna vaccines, the following people MAY CHOOSE to get a booster shot six months after their last dose:

  • 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, firefighters, 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.

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 Oswego County continues to have a high community transmission level according to the CDC.

“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,” he said.

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 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.