144 new COVID cases in county

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FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

There were 144 new cases of COVID-19 and two new virus-related deaths in Oneida County on Wednesday, according to information from the county.

On many of the last several days, new positive cases in the county have been in the 80 to 100 range. The last time those types of daily numbers occurred was in late January of this year. There are 846 active positive cases in the county with a 4.2% positivity rate. There are 1,479 individuals in mandatory isolation and quarantine with 53 people hospitalized, including 38 at Mohawk Valley Health System facilities and 10 at Rome Health. Of those in the hospital, 16 are in ICU and eight are on ventilators.

The county is now releasing hospitalization vaccination status by age. These figures include 20-29 years-old: one unvaccinated/no vaccinated; 30-39 years-old: three unvaccinated/one vaccinated; 40-49 years-old: three unvaccinated/no vaccinated; 50-59 years-old: ten unvaccinated/five vaccinated; 60-69 years-old: five unvaccinated/four vaccinated; 70-79 years-old: four unvaccinated/four vaccinated; 80-89 years-old: five unvaccinated/seven vaccinated; and 90-99 years-old: no unvaccinated/one vaccinated.

Looking broadly across the state there were 34 COVID-19-related deaths across New York on Wednesday and the statewide average seven-day infection positivity rate was measured at 3.16%, according to information from the governor’s office.

With infection numbers plateauing in recent days at a higher level than even six weeks ago, elected officials continue the call for vaccines and other precautions.

“New York State is taking decisive action to keep children and their parents safe with new comprehensive masking requirements, but that’s not enough to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us—we need to increase the vaccination rate,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “We’re putting more energy and effort into addressing the 12- to 17-year-old population and we continue to make the vaccine available at sites across the state. Get vaccinated today and protect your friends, family and community from COVID-19.”

Oneida County on at-home COVID testing kits

With the use of COVID-19 home test kits on the rise, Oneida County residents are being urged to self-report positive results to the county health department so that cases can be properly tracked, according to the county.

This would ensure a positive result being reported to the county Health Department will ensure proper support and documentation for work and school absences, and will enable the health department to perform case investigation, contact tracing and notification to others who have been exposed. 

“With communicable diseases, one of the best defenses is contact tracing,” Daniel Gilmore, Oneida County Director of Health said in a statement. “With cases not being reported, contact tracing is incomplete. The Oneida County Health Department is making every effort to stay on top of COVID-19 spread in this community and unreported home test kits are making this more difficult. Cooperation on this matter is vital.”

The county is also developing an online self-reporting system for positive home test kit results, but is currently directing all at-home positive test results reports to the county health department at 315-798-5431. 

Lifting of state hiring freeze

Gov. Kathy Hochul has suspended the COVID-19-induced state hiring freeze through the end of the fiscal year.

The suspension comes after Hochul released the updated state financial plan projecting $2.1 billion in revenue above projections as the economic recovery beats expectations, according to a release.

“Lifting the hiring freeze through the end of the fiscal year will enable state agencies to grow their workforces after the number of workers in Executive Agencies declined from approximately 118,000 full-time employees to approximately 107,500 full-time employees between March 2020 and August 2021, driven by attrition,” a release continues.

“...We must continue to act responsibly and prudently with the state’s finances as we work to slow the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 and help to ensure all businesses and New Yorkers remain safe,” Hochul stated in part.

COVID-19 Information Links

In Oneida County, vaccine appointments and walk-ins are available at county-operated sites. To book an appointment, visit www.ocgov.net.

Scheduling a vaccine appointment can also be completed at: vaccines.gov.

COVID-19 case numbers and vaccination rates are available on Oneida County’s online Dashboard at: https://bit.ly/3A85tLp

To see COVID-19 information for Madison County, visit: https://on.ny.gov/3je8vr0

The New York State Department of Health offers statewide information on COVID-19 at: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov

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