On Thursday, Oneida County reported 97 new cases of COVID-19, marking a sharp spike in daily case numbers that were hovering in the 40 to 55 new case range the past week.
It is the highest number of positive tests in one day since Jan. 29.
Twenty-one county residents are currently hospitalized because of COVID-19, the highest number since April 26.
In a news conference, County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. said county leaders and school district officials are actively looking at safety and health precautions going into the upcoming school year.
Picente indicated he favored mask wearing and continued vaccination efforts for all, including school personnel and first responders, some of which have not been vaccinated.
County officials told reporters that the Delta variant is spreading in the area and it is a more aggressive variant in terms of transmission, a leading factor in the rising numbers over the last six weeks.
For contrast, Picente said that July 5, was the last day where no new cases were reported. After that day, numbers have been on a steady rise.
“Look what we went through last year,” Picente said urging vaccinations and masking up in public settings. Again, noting that at this time it’s not mandatory, but a strong recommendation.
The county executive noted that as infection numbers continue to rise, “We can get out of this. We got out of it before.”
But, community cooperation is needed to curb the community spread. Picente added that in the coming days, close watch will be kept on infection rates, especially among school age children to determine if community or school based health and safety policies need to be re-instituted.
This week, Gov. Kathy Hochul directed the NYS Department of Health to institute a universal mask requirement in all schools.
“As we approach back to school season, it’s crucial to keep our children, teachers and other school staff in our minds and get vaccinated,” Hochul said Thursday. “The vaccine is the best option we have when it comes to keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe. If you haven’t already, go out and get your vaccination as soon as you can.”
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