OSWEGO – The number of active COVID-19 cases climbed slightly over the past week, but fewer new cases were confirmed in Oswego County, according to the latest data from the county health officials. 

The Oswego County Health Department reported 367 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the week leading up to Monday, a slight downtick from the 383 county residents who tested positive the previous week. The number of active cases climbed to 411, a very slight increase from the 403 reported last week, and a significant reduction from the more than 500 reported weekly throughout September and October. 

Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang noted the number of new cases has remained relatively stable over the past few weeks. The 411 active cases remains high compared to the lows from the past summer, but it’s among the fewest active cases reported in a week since late August when a surge in cases started to take shape. 

Huang warns the COVID-19 virus remains active in Oswego County, and individuals who are not vaccinated, or not fully vaccinated, are at increased risk of contracting the disease and developing severe symptoms. 

“I encourage those who are eligible for the vaccine to get their shot and help us protect our communities,” Huang said. “The vaccine will protect you and your family as well as those who are not eligible to receive the vaccine themselves. Working together, we can make this county safer and healthier.”

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 13,300 Oswego County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus. According to the state Department of Health (DOH), 122 county residents have died due to coronavirus-related complications, including nearly 30 since the start of September. 

More than half of Oswego County residents have completed a vaccination regime, according to state and local data, and public health officials are shifting focus toward child vaccinations following federal approval for a lower-dose inoculation for children ages 5 to 11. 

“The vaccine will help protect kids from getting the infection and further reduce the spread of the virus,” Huang said. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the pediatric doses last week, and state guidance was issued over the weekend. 

“We are not wasting any time in helping administer the vaccine to children five to 11 years old,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said over the weekend as part of an announcement the state released guidance for medical professionals, parents and guardians. “We must work together to finally beat this pandemic by wearing our masks, washing our hands, and getting our shots, so that we can all enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season.” 

Huang noted the county Health Department is collaborating with ConnextCare and local pharmacies to vaccinate younger county residents. He said health department staff plans to vaccinate children in Hannibal, Central Square, Oswego and Fulton school districts starting as early as Friday, Nov. 12. 

According to county health officials, ConnextCare plans to vaccinate children in the Pulaski, Sandy Creek, Mexico, Phoenix and Altmar-Parish-Williamstown school districts starting Saturday, Nov. 10. Drive-thru clinics are scheduled at Pulaski and Parish on Saturday, Nov. 13 for parents who would like to get their 5- to 11-year-old children vaccinated but cannot attend their school’s scheduled clinic. 

To make an appointment and see the full listed of ConnextCare pediatric clinics, go to: https://www.connextcare.org/COVID19. 

Additional pediatric COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be held at Kinney Drugs in Fulton (315-593-2158; www.kinneydrugs.com); Kinney Drugs in Mexico (315-963-0601; www.kinneydrugs.com); and Walgreen’s in Fulton (315-598-2380; www.walgreens.com). 

Huang noted the health department continues to work with other providers to deliver COVID-19 vaccines, adding nearly all the people attending county clinics last week were there for third and booster doses. 

The Oswego County Health Department continues to host COVID-19 vaccine clinics from 1 to 5:30 p.m. each Wednesday at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, located at 70 Bunner St. in Oswego. There will not be a clinic Nov. 24 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

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