There is a definite spike in COVID-19 cases around the region and as a result, Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) in Utica is reverting back to visitation restrictions beginning this weekend.

According to MVHS Chief Executive Physician Dr. Kent Hall, visitation at each of their Utica area facilities will revert back to COVID-19 restrictions starting on Saturday. Normal visitation will no longer be allowed, except under special conditions.

"We are in the process of instituting a change in our visitation policy because of (COVID-19) where we're basically going to, except for certain exceptions related to specific patient needs, we're going to stop visitation as of this Saturday," said Dr. Hall.

There has been a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in Oneida County in the last week with a record number of active positive cases. There are now 520 active cases as of Tuesday, which is the highest number of active cases since there was 401 on June 1st. There was also a record number of positive tests in a 24-hour period on Tuesday with 68 new cases in the county, bringing the total number of positive cases to 3,172. There are currently more than 2,000 cases of mandatory isolation and quarantine in the county. There are 29 county residents who are hospitalized.

Courtesy of MVHS

Hall told WIBX that as families planning Thanksgiving dinner, they should consider virtual gatherings. "Families should probably take Dr. Fauchi's advice in that," he said. "I know that's a hard message to hear. I would rather have a Zoom Thanksgiving with my kids this year and see them in person next year, than maybe not being around next year for them," he added.

Before visiting any of the MVHS facilities starting on Saturday, it might eb a good idea to call in advance before making the trip.