Oneida County reported 23 new positive tests for COVID-19 on Wednesday, the second consecutive day of more than 20 new cases and third this week, for 196 known active cases.
Of the newly identified cases, three were inmates at the Oneida County jail. On Tuesday, Sheriff Rob Maciol reported 10 inmates had tested positive, all in a particular unit housing 43 inmates. Of them, 29 had tested negative and four were awaiting results.
Another 1,122 people in the county were in mandatory quarantine as of Wednesday afternoon because of recent close contact with people who have had positive tests. Thirteen people with COVID-19 were being treated in hospitals in the county.
As of Wednesday, 1.3% of diagnostic tests were positive in the county.
No clusters of cases have been identified in the county or Mohawk Valley region. However, the six-county region’s indicators of the pandemic continued to increase along with the rest of New York. Of test results reported, 0.9% were positive averaged over the previous day as of Wednesday afternoon, still among the lowest in the state but up from .8% a day earlier. The region’s number of new cases each day per 100,000 residents averaged over the previous week was 5.98, up from 5.30 a day earlier.
The region’s new hospitalizations per 100,000 was .50.
Statewide, the figures were a positive-test rate of 1.4%, 8.9 new cases a day on average, and .7 new hospitalizations a day per 100,000 people.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday the state will expressly allow counties and cities to require schools to require k-12 students to wear masks.
Cuomo said during a briefing for news media that the main problem now appears to be clusters that spread from small gatherings, in contrast to concerns earlier in the pandemic that large events and public places like restaurants, bars and banquet halls were behind clusters. He cited a church in Lewis County and a wedding of 18 guests in a rural part of western New York for recent clusters. He urged state residents to avoid Thanksgiving gatherings beyond the immediate household.
Cuomo acknowledged the state’s number of cases and test positivity rate are going up but noted the positive-test rate, at 1.39% averaged over a week, is second-best in the country among states, behind only .77% of Maine.
The state lowered the level of a cluster zone in Orange County in the lower Hudson Valley from red to orange as the positivity rate there went from 12% to 2% in three weeks while its rate of new hospital admissions flattened.
The county Health Department identified the following incidents of possible public exposure to someone who tested positive, and recommends self-monitoring for symptoms among anyone at these locations at these times:
BJ’s Wholesale Club, 400 River Road, Utica, 1-1:20 p.m. Oct. 15; self-monitor through Oct. 29.
AMF Pin-O-Rama Lanes, 1724 Genesee St., Utica, 6-9:30 p.m. Oct. 22; self-monitor through Nov. 5.
Top Of the Morning Cafe, 5-6:30 p.m. Oct. 23; self-monitor through Nov. 6.
Walgreens at 201 S. James St., Rome, 9-9:45 a.m. Oct. 24; self-monitor through Nov. 6.
North Sports Bar, 1-5 p.m. Oct. 25; self-monitor through Nov. 8.