Oswego County: 631 active cases, 20 deaths, 56 new cases reported

OSWEGO, NY – Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced today, Dec. 16, that 56 additional residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive cases to 2,823.

Oswego County Medical Director Dr. Christina Liepke said COVID-19 continues to spread at an alarming rate.

“It took Oswego County six months to get to 300 cases in the beginning of this pandemic, and now we are at a point when our county has 300 new cases of COVID-19 every six days or less,” said Dr. Liepke. “That is 300 more neighbors, co-workers, and loved ones in our small rural community affected by this pandemic every six days.”

Senior Public Health Educator Diane Oldenburg added that social gatherings are a major factor in spreading the coronavirus. “We know it’s difficult this time of year, but it is not safe for people of different households to get together, even if they are part of the same family,” she said. “This includes dinners, birthday parties, kids’
sleepovers, and holiday parties.”

This report is current as of 3 p.m. Dec. 16.

Please know that these numbers fluctuate frequently. Recovered people are not deducted from the total number of positive cases.

– Total # of tests conducted: 93,785
– Total # of positive cases: 2,823
– Total # of positive cases released: 2,172
– Total deaths: 20
– Total # of positive cases active: 631
– Total # of negative results: 90,361
– Total # of people in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 1,471

Huang reminded residents that the County Health Department changed its reporting process yesterday and now follows the New York State Department of Health dashboard in reporting the number of COVID-19-related deaths by “County of Residence.”

“Our verification process took too much time and created a discrepancy between our numbers and those reported on the State’s dashboard,” he said. “We’ve been working closely with NYSDOH since the pandemic began and count its dashboard as a credible resource.”

Oswego County Legislature Chairman Jim Weatherup agreed that the previous process was cumbersome and in need of a second look. “In order to stay true to our desire to be a reliable and credible source of information, we needed to be more efficient in our reporting,” he said.

To date, the Oswego County Health Department has verified and reported six deaths while the State’s dashboard reports that there are now 20 COVID-19-related deaths of Oswego County residents since March.

County officials continue to stress the importance of everyone following the advice of the Health Department; practicing preventative measures and complying with isolation and quarantine rules.

Public Health Educator Sonia Robinson said, “If you are tested for COVID-19, please remain quarantined until you receive your test results and are contacted by the County Health Department with instructions. Keep in mind that you may receive your test results before the health department does. We are working through a backlog of patients right now.”

Those who have tested positive need to stay home and isolate from others in the household. “This means separating yourself in a room that is not shared with others,” she added. “Stay six feet away from others, use a separate bathroom if possible, and disinfect after each use. Wear a face mask if you must be around others and wash your hands frequently.”

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, chills, repeated shaking with chills, gastrointestinal illness and new loss of taste or smell.

Health officials strongly urge residents to take these precautions:

– Stay home if you are sick and keep your children home if they are sick.
– Wear a face mask or covering over your nose and mouth.
– Avoid non-essential gatherings of all types.
– Keep six feet from other people.
– Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating.
– Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
– Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
– Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
– Call your healthcare provider from home if you are experiencing symptoms such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath.
– Do not go to the emergency department unless you are experiencing life-threatening conditions.

A list of testing sites and additional information is posted on the health department’s COVID-19 page at health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19.