Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente reflected on the start of the COVID-19 shutdown, in a release on Saturday, one year to the date of the outbreak locally.

“Exactly one year ago today in Oneida County and across the globe, the world as we knew it changed," said Picente. "From parades and celebrations to closings and restrictions, our community, as all across the country, had to adjust to a virus that we knew little about at the time. What we did know was that it could be deadly and that there was no immediate fix."

Picente reflected on the 20,000 local people affected by the virus, and the now 400 lives lost over the last year to COVID-19. "In addition, thousands were also placed in quarantine to prevent the spread and remain safe. Our thoughts and prayers go to all of the loved ones of lives lost and to all who had suffered the impact of this scourge."

Picente reminded residents that this community and the country still have "a ways to go until normalcy" and he urged people to continue to wear masks, get the vaccine, and practice the social distancing still recommended by the CDC and the County Department of Health.

Saturday's anniversary saw one new COVID death, bringing the total deaths to 401. There were 35 new cases on Saturday and 38 new cases on Sunday, according to the Health Department report. There are now 443 active COVID cases in the county 24 county residents are hospitalized with the virus.

Herkimer County announced 16 new positive cases this weekend for a total of 50 active cases as of noon on Sunday. 98 Herkimer County residents have died so far from the virus.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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