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Picente says Oneida County COVID-19 cases rising, points to concerning trends

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

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Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. — seen here in this file photo from November 2020 — on Thursday told reporters that COVID-19 cases in Oneida County are rising, “likely fueled by the delta variant.” (Photo credit: Oneida County)

UTICA, N.Y. — The number of COVID-19 cases are rising in Oneida County, reaching 97 on Thursday, the highest number recorded since Jan. 29.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. announced the figure during a briefing held Thursday afternoon.

“Likely fueled by the Delta variant, Oneida County COVID-19 cases have been rising throughout the month of August, culminating in 97 [Thursday],” Picente said. “This is a concerning trend, especially with the return to school right around the corner. We must strengthen our resolve in this fight. Vaccination is our best weapon to reduce spread and severity of symptoms and I urge everyone to get one immediately. Regardless of vaccination status, masks are also strongly recommended to impede transmission and I encourage our residents to use them for protection in indoor public settings. We have been here before and we know what is effective. Let’s use the lessons we have learned these past 18 months to get through this tumultuous time together.”

Concerning trends

Picente also used the briefing to outline “several concerning trends” in the county’s COVID-19 case numbers, per an Oneida County news release.

They include 165 children under the age of 17 testing positive in the month of August during a time when they are not attending school.

Also, 21 county residents are currently hospitalized because of COVID-19, the highest number since April 26. The county is averaging 64 cases per day, the highest average since early February.

In addition, the average age of positives currently stands at 37 years of age. The positivity rate for the county is currently 3.2 percent and has remained in that range on a seven-day average for the entire month of August.

Picente also noted that in July, 75 percent of all positive cases were non-vaccinated, and to this point in August, 73 percent were non-vaccinated.

In addition, since Jan. 1, 98 percent of those who have been vaccinated have not contracted COVID-19; 91 percent of all people hospitalizaed since Jan. 1 have been unvaccinated; and unvaccinated county residents are four times more likely to test positive and 80 times more likely to be hospitalized because of COVID-19.

 

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