As schools decision nears, COVID holds steady in Oneida County


As a decision nears on whether schools can open as normal this fall, Oneida County and the Mohawk Valley region appear to be eligible should state authorities allow it.

Oneida County reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, no deaths related to the disease in 10 people being treated in hospitals for it.

As of noon Thursday, the county had 131 active known cases, 1,846 resolved cases, 131 people in isolation, and 1,042 in quarantine. Deaths related to COVID-19 total 115 since the pandemic arrived, with the most recent reported July 27, when three people died with the disease.

Of the 10 hospitalized county residents, one was at Rome Memorial Hospital, and nine were in the Mohawk Valley Health System, where one of the patients is from a nursing home.

Regionally, the Mohawk Valley’s rate of tests that were positive stood at 1.1 percent, compared to 1.0 percent statewide. The region’s number of new cases reported daily per 100,000 people expressed as a rolling average of the previous seven days, stood at 3.71, second highest in the sate being 4.21 of Long Island.

The decision to open public schools will be based on indicators of the spread of COVID-19 in each region, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a conference call with news organizations Thursday. Using smaller geographies would assume the virus isn’t going to spread within a region and between school districts, which isn’t likely, Cuomo said.

Cuomo said in mid-July that a decision on whether the state’s schools may reopen for the fall would be made by the first week of August., but on Thursday he said he will delay the decision until the last possible moment in order to have the latest data available. He said in July the main metric will be keeping the infection rate below 5 percent on a 14-day average.

Cuomo said the state is doing well in containing the pandemic but that much can change.

“The flip side to that … is how long can New York maintain this position as an island … when you have this spread all around you,” Cuomo said. “It’s in Connecticut, it’s in Jersey. … It’s a matter of time before it crosses the rivers and crosses the boundaries.”

Oneida County reported one incident of possible public exposure to a person known to have COVID-19 and recommended anyone at the following location at the time monitor themselves for symptoms:

Mirabito on Seneca Turnpike in New Hartford, 11:30 a.m. to noon Aug. 4; self-monitor through Aug. 18.


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