Another COVID death in Oneida County while case numbers hold steady

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Oneida County has had its 127th COVID-19 death.

The county reported the death on Tuesday, along with five new cases, for 100 known active cases.

Five people with COVID were hospitalized in the county, all in the Mohawk Valley Health System.

In addition to those who have active test-confirmed cases and are in mandatory isolation, 695 were in mandatory precautionary quarantine.

The Mohawk Valley’s key pandemic indicators remained low. The region’s percentage of tests that indicate COVID-19 each day was 0.5 percent on Tuesday, unchanged from Monday, and the average number of new cases each day per 100,000 people averaged over the previous seven days was 2.83, down from 2.91 Monday. Both indicators were lower than all regions except the North Country.

At the state level, the positive-test rate stood at 1.2%, and the number of new cases per day per 100,000 was 6.77.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new restrictions on hot spots, or areas where new cases are occurring at a rapid rate. The 20 ZIP codes with the most intense hot spots had a collective average of 5.5%, Cuomo added.

The governor announced new limits on mass gatherings, houses of worship, and on businesses, restaurants and schools in hot spots and surrounding areas, particularly in Brooklyn, Orange and Rockland counties and Binghamton. The limits increase with the intensity of each outbreak with the highest intensity triggering. In the highest-intensity areas, mass gatherings are prohibited, only essential businesses are open, take-out only is allowed at restaurants, schools are closed, and worship services are limited to 25 percent capacity or 10 people at most.

In the least-intense areas, including that in Binghamton, worship is limited to 50 percent capacity, mass gatherings to 25 people, businesses may open, dining is limited to four people per table indoors or out, and schools may open but have weekly testing of students and staff for in-person settings, with a threshold positive rate to be set by Friday.

In medium-intensity areas, designated as orange on state maps, worship is limited to 33 percent capacity or 25 people; mass gatherings to 10 people indoor or outdoor; dining is outdoor only with a 4-per-table maximum.

The restrictions will apply in areas noted on state maps developed by records indicating the home addresses of people with positive tests, Cuomo said. They are not necessarily the same as ZIP codes or Census tracts.

The focus on clusters is needed to guard against spread, Cuomo said during an afternoon press conference in Albany.

“A cluster causes community spread. That is the natural evolution of things unless we intervene and stop the cycle,” Cuomo said.

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