Small social gatherings blamed for surge of COVID-19 cases in Oswego County

OSWEGO, NY – Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang announced today, Nov. 12, that 38 additional residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive cases to 1,055. Eight hundred twenty-eight people have been released from isolation.

There are five confirmed COVID- 19 related deaths in Oswego County.

“We have seen a dramatic increase of COVID-19 across the county,” said Huang. “Many of today’s new cases came from contacts of known positive party-goers and small clusters.”

“People need to realize that social gatherings become amplifiers of viral transmission in our communities,” he continued. “Small clusters originate in families, households, and groups, and then the virus quickly spreads through social gatherings. We must enhance our preventive actions now to limit the spread of the virus. People should avoid non-essential gatherings, practice social distancing, wear a face covering and wash their hands frequently.”

The Oswego County Health Department monitors COVID-19 activity throughout the county works closely with the state Department of Health and local entities to encourage residents to follow preventative measures.

COVID-19 is present in cities and towns across Oswego County.

This report is current as of 3 p.m. Nov. 12.

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

– Total # of tests conducted: 69,286
– Total # of positive cases: 1,055
– Total # of positive cases released: 828
– Total deaths: 5
– Total # of positive cases active: 222
– Total # of negative results: 68,006
– Total # of people in mandatory isolation/quarantine: 599

The Oswego County Health Department investigates all cases and, when appropriate, family members and close contacts are also placed in mandatory quarantine or isolation. All known close contacts of COVID-19 positive patients are notified.

In the event that a person who tests positive for COVID-19 had public exposure when they were contagious and the health department could not contact those at risk individually, a news release is issued. Investigations go back two days prior to symptom onset for symptomatic positive patients, or two days prior to testing for
asymptomatic positive patients, up until the time a positive patient is isolated.
Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup urges residents to continue to take every necessary precaution to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. He also reminds businesses and organizations that they must follow New York State guidance in their operations.

“The data shows that COVID-19 is increasing in our community,” said Chairman Weatherup. “We must continue to take personal responsibility and help prevent the spread of the disease, so that we can avoid future restrictions and shutdowns.”

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.

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.

Residents should continue to monitor reliable sources of information. Go to or for the latest news releases, updates and video presentations. For more information go to

Additional questions can be directed to the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 hotline at 315-349- 3330 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information about emotional supports, visit the Oswego County Department of Social Services Division of Mental Hygiene at