Statewide seven-day average COVID-19 infection positivity rate is 2.30%

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There were 43 COVID-19-related deaths across New York on Wednesday and Thursday’s statewide seven-day average infection positivity rate was measured at 2.30%, according to information from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office.

Looking locally, on Wednesday Oneida County charted 84 new positive cases of COVID-19 and no new virus-related deaths. The positivity rate for the county was 4.1%.

There were 58 Oneida County residents hospitalized (38 unvaccinated/20 vaccinated) with 37 at Mohawk Valley Health System, 12 at Rome Health and nine out of the county. The positivity rate for the Mohawk Valley was 4.74%

"As COVID continues to threaten the health and safety of New Yorkers, it's more important than ever that everyone act responsibly and get vaccinated as soon as possible … It's time to do the right thing - not only is the vaccine safe, effective and free, but vaccination sites are also widely accessible throughout the entire state. We are only going to beat this virus for good if we all work together, so please, go get your shot today and help your community become COVID-free,” Hochul said in a statement.

In Thursday data released from Oneida County, 70% of the reported positive cases from Oct. 13-19 were in people who were unvaccinated.

Transparency in COVID-19 Expenditures Act

Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-22, New Hartford, introduced the Transparency in COVID-19 Expenditures Act, which would direct the Comptroller General of the United States to audit all funding provided by the five COVID-19 relief bills Congress has passed since the onset of the pandemic, according to a release.

“Congress passed several COVID-19 relief bills since the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020. Since then, we’ve learned about many alarming cases of fraud, waste, and abuse in the funding and programs these bills authorized. It is imperative that we audit these funds to ensure the relief they provided made it into the right hands. I am honored to introduce this bill to ensure that your taxpayer dollars were spent responsibly,” Tenney said in a statement.

Since March 2020, Congress has spent $5.3 trillion in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“...This includes many provisions that lack adequate oversight and integrity safeguards. An October 7 report by the Office of the Inspector General found that the Small Business Administration provided $4.5 billion more in Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) grants to sole proprietors and independent contractors than they were entitled to receive based on the adopted policies of the COVID-19 bills,” a statement continues.

Documented fraud also includes: a NASA senior executive who used grants to pay down his credit card bills; a former NFL player who filed fraudulent loan applications and used funding from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to purchase luxury goods and a Texas man who received $1.6 million from PPP applications to purchase a Lamborghini and other high-end goods, according to Tenney’s office.

“There is also the issue of unused funds remaining from past COVID-19 packages that have been left unaddressed by Congress. As of Sept. 27, untapped funding allocated in the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for state, local, territorial and tribal entities was documented to be $10.4 billion. As required by law, these funds must be used by December 31, 2021,” a statement continues.

COVID-19 info 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: 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 at: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov

• To see a state compiled COVID-19 breakthrough data report, which displays COVID-19 breakthrough cases, hospitalizations and in-depth data over time, visit: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/covid-19-breakthrough-data-report

• To see the states collection of data on COVID-19 variants, visit: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/covid-19-variant-data

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