State, local COVID-19 positivity rates inch upward

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On Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office announced there were 3,851 new positive COVID-19 cases — and 31 COVID-19-related deaths — across New York on Tuesday, and that the statewide seven-day average positivity rate was measured at 3.34%. Topping the list, at 5.645 was the North Country, including Lewis County, followed closely at 5.45% by the Mohawk Valley region. Also above the 5% mark was the Central New York, which includes Onondaga County, at 5.02%.

In Oneida County, there were 74 new virus cases on Tuesday and one new virus related death.

In a Wednesday news conference, Hochul added that there were 2,415 patients hospitalized across the state with COVID-19, including 503 patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Hochul said that for the time being mask wearing, social distancing and vaccination would continue to be encouraged.

“Not a single person wants to relive the memories from last year, which is why we are 100 percent committed to doing everything in our power as we continue our battle with COVID,” Hochul said in a statement. “We are watching the numbers like a hawk and while infections and other key metrics are ticking up, we know what it takes to beat back the virus. We need to double down on exercising basic safety measures like wearing our masks, handwashing, social distancing - and we need everyone to get vaccinated. Our vaccination rates are better than they are in most states, but if you are unvaccinated you are still vulnerable. The vaccine works and it’s essential that you complete the vaccine series, and get the booster shot when the time comes.”

Hochul also said that a solid vaccine booster shot plan is expected to roll out around September 20, with more details to come.

COVID-19 Biodefense

In other COVID-19-related announcements, Hochul said a new $40 million Biodefense Commercialization Fund is now available to boost development and commercialization of life science research and innovations that address serious infectious health threats, including COVID-19 and its variants, according to a release.

“No state was hit harder and faster by COVID-19 than New York State—and it is incumbent upon us to use the lessons we learned to better prepare for the future,” Governor Hochul said. “The Biodefense Commercialization Fund will help the next generation of startups and early-stage companies combat infectious diseases while creating jobs and investment in New York’s life science industry. We want to ensure that New York is where these groundbreaking companies start and operate, and that our state is at the center of the search for solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.”    

A release continues, “grants awarded through this fund will help bring to market infectious disease solutions, including diagnostics, therapeutics and other innovations that address or mitigate the spread of serious infectious diseases, encouraging growth across New York’s expanding life science industry and positioning the state as a leader in infectious disease resiliency and mitigation.”

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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