Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente delivered a grim report on the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the region, and announced new restrictions and recommendations on Monday.

Picente said that there have been 1,440 new positive COVID cases in the last seven days, and new cases in the last two weeks represent 37-percent of all the positive cases since March. He added that 32 people have died since November 1st, 12 of those have passed away since December 1st.

"This is a community-wide problem and we need everyone to step-up to get this under control," said Picente. "These numbers are as high as they have ever been. It's been a long year, it's been a hard fight."

As of midnight on Sunday, there are 107 county residents hospitalized including 80 at MVHS and 20 at Rome Memorial Hospital. "In terms of deaths in the last 2 months...there are some nursing home residents that are victims, but it is a small number," said Picente. "This virus effects every age group and can be fatal to any age group." Of the 125 new cases of the virus announced today, only 12 of those are from nursing homes and of the 107 hospitalizations of county residents, only 18 of those are nursing home related.

The county announced 125 new positive cases on Monday for a total of 2,734 active cases currently. There was one new death in the county bringing the total who have died of the virus to 161. Picente said that 20-percent of all deaths from COVID-19 this year have happened in the last 60-days.

The County Executive also criticized youth sports and school affiliated extra-curricular activities. He stated that schools and parents should avoid these activities until further notice. "We are exploring a county order on banning extra-curricular activities. If we can put that in place we will," he said. "We'll know what we can do by Wednesday."

Picente was extra critical of schools that are offering sports and extra-curricular activities, that are not allowing for in-person instruction. "If we're not in session at a high school then why are we doing sports," Picente asked. "I don't believe any school that is not operating in a hybrid model should have sports," he added.

County Executive Picente said he's resuming his daily COVID-19 briefings. The 3 p.m. updates will now occur every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, going forward. They will be streamed live on Facebook and may also be covered by local media.

Picente added that in regards to potential shutdowns, those types of orders could potentially come from the Governor's office. Earlier on Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that if the rising hospitalization rate doesn't level off in the next 48-hours, additional restrictions on restaurants and bars could be implemented on Wednesday. That new executive order could mean a 25-percent capacity for indoor dining Upstate, among other restrictions. Cuomo said he is also resuming his COVID-19 mid-day briefings this week.

New restrictions and additional recommendations by Picente

1- Schools not operating in person should cancel all extra-ciurricluar activities until further notice.

2- The county will begin listing the names of businesses, organizations and residents who are violating guidelines starting Tuesday.

3- All non-profit and all organizations should cease all public meetings going forward.  Meetings should be held remotely.

4- Oneida County recently gave MVHS over 20,000 pieces of PPE. Looking at other means to assist.

5- The county will be placing more people in remote work. Businesses, organizations and non-profits should do the same.

6- Oneida County is creating a vaccine work group that will focus on education and the overall distribution of the vaccination going forward. Will include hospital systems and other healthcare related systems in the community.

Additional recommendations to all employers and residents

-All businesses and organizations should enforce mask order

-Businesses should have workforce get tested regularly

-Proper signage of social distancing and proper hygiene should be posted

-Businesses should institute remote work policies

-Retail businesses and restaurants should institute curbside pickup

-Stay at home when possible. Get groceries delivered and limit trips. Order from local restaurants and take advantage of pickup and delivery.

-Don't congregate with people outside your household.

-Wear a mask anytime you leave the house. Wash your hands, sanitize.

-Do not allow your children to participate in extra curricular actives, including travel teams. Schools should cancel extra-curricular activities.

Here are the Oneida County COVID-19 case numbers as of midnight on Dec. 6.

  • 125 new positive cases, 6,385 total. 5 nursing home residents.
  • 2,734 active positive cases.
  • 1 new COVID-19-related death, 161 total.
  • 100 patients are hospitalized in Oneida County. 80 at MVHS. 20 at Rome Memorial.
  • 18 are nursing home residents.
  • 7 patients are hospitalized out of county.
  • 3,490 positive cases have been resolved.
  • 312,927 total negative results.
  • 319,312 total tests
  • 2,734 in mandatory isolation.
  • 1,904 in mandatory quarantine.

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