County tallies record positive COVID count, 753 cases

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In a single day — now almost two years into the global coronavirus pandemic — Oneida County recorded its single highest new case count on Wednesday — 753 new positive cases — according to Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr., in a Thursday news conference.

However, Picente clarified that 6,000 tests for COVID-19 were administered (also the record highest daily amount of tests administered since the pandemic began) which aided the discovery of the 753 new cases.

In the days leading up to Wednesday’s high tally, daily testing totals were typically between 500 to 2,000.

“This is no surprise. We expected these numbers,” Picente said of the high numbers, adding, “we’re not closing anything down.”

Picente said at this time, there will be no additional social restrictions in place other than the already present statewide mask mandate imposed by the state that are set to expire in January. See Daily Sentinel coverage of that topic here: https://bit.ly/3zd2tNF

“There is nothing else to say or put into place … people know what to do,” the county executive said, reminding county residents to be safe and cautious while celebrating New Years this weekend.

Picente added that more high number days are anticipated in the coming weeks as both the expected holiday surge will roll out and more tests will be at the county’s disposal.

Picente’s Thursday news conference can be seen here: https://fb.watch/adO0VQ_heq/.

In additional Oneida County COVID data for Wednesday, there were five new virus-related deaths on Wednesday and the infection positivity rate was measured at 9.4%.

Further, there were 67 county residents hospitalized, of that number, 42 were unvaccinated and 25 were vaccinated. There were 51 residents hospitalized in the Mohawk Valley Health System, eight at Rome Health and eight outside the county.

State numbers

Looking to statewide numbers, there were 76 COVID-19-related deaths across New York on Wednesday and the statewide seven-day average infection positivity rate was measured at 16.21%, according to information from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office.

The governor, in a statement, also urged state residents to adhere to health and safety protocols.

“As the New Year approaches, it’s more important than ever that we take the necessary precautions to keep each other safe in the face of the COVID winter surge,” Hochul said in a statement. “It’s up to all of us to make 2022 a safer, healthier year than 2021 was - get vaccinated, get boosted, mask up, and avoid large indoor public gatherings when possible.” 

Tenney pens letter on COVID-19 therapy

Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-22, New Hartford, along with a group of fellow congress members penned a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra seeking a reversal of a recent decision by the agency to halt the federal supply of monoclonal antibody therapies to regions of the country with a greater than 80% prevalence of the omicron COVID-19 variant, according to a Thursday statement from Tenney’s office.

In part, the letter reads, “with hospital capacity limited in much of our region, many in our medical community have requested additional options for treating their patients, not fewer. They repeatedly state that any tools to prevent patients from being hospitalized and placed on a ventilator significantly increases the likelihood of a full recovery. This means access to multiple therapeutic options is a win-win for both patients and providers. We therefore urge you to reconsider your decision to take these therapeutic tools out of the hands of clinicians and consider instead simply revising guidance while continuing to ensure a supply is made available to New York and other states.”

COVID-19 information links

• New York State’s COVID-19 data has been collected in one online spot at: https://on.ny.gov/3rw82oG

• 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

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