After a weekend that saw 37 new lab confirmed cases of COVID-19 and three deaths, Oneida County saw just five new positive cases on Sunday.

However, during his daily briefing on Monday, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente announced another death, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths of county residents to 15.

During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Public Health Director Phyllis Ellis was asked if the recently announced death came from the Mohawk Valley Psych Center. Ellis confirmed a fatality linked to the facility but said she was unsure if it was specifically the death announced Monday, or one of the deaths reported by the county over the weekend.

Also, the number of currently hospitalized county residents declined by one since the last update on Sunday. There are 26 infected residents hospitalized in the county, and three hospitalized outside the county, he said.

To date, 378 county residents have received lab confimation of COVID-19 infection. Picente said 215 cases remain 'active', while 148 cases have been 'resolved.'

New Public Exposures

Public Health Director Ellis announced four more possible public exposure incidents at area businesses. However, Ellis called each case 'low risk', saying that all of the infected parties were wearing masks while in public.

The public exposure incidents involved separate, individual shoppers who were at the following locations during the listed times. Residents who may have been at these locations during the listed times should self-monitor for symptoms for two weeks from the listed date:

  • Topps on Erie Blvd. in Rome on April 20, between 2:00-3:00p.m.
  • Price Rie on Bleeker St. in Utica on either April 21 or 22 between 2:00-3:00p.m. (individual could not specifically recall the exact date they were at the store, officials said)
  • Walgreens on Kellogg Road in New Hartford on April 24, between 5:00-6:30p.m.

Additionally, an employee of the New Hartford Walmart has tested positive for COVID-19. Ellis also labeled this a 'low risk' incident, again noting the employee was wearing a mask. However, shoppers who were at that location on April 19 between 1:00-10:00p.m. should self-monitor for two weeks from that date.

Ellis also clarified that public exposure incidents reported over the weekend were deemed 'medium risk' primarily because the infected individual was in public and not wearing  a mask.

She said risk is determined by several factors, including whether the individual is wearing a mask, the duration of public exposure and the type of activity the infected person is involved with.

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