It's safe to say the COVID-19 Pandemic in Oneida County is not getting any better as officials announced record setting numbers for new cases and hospitalizations Wednesday.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says,

These are concerning numbers that reinforce the need for everyone to remain diligent in following the health and safety guidelines we continue to stress each day. It should also serve as a reminder of how important it is to be smart this New Year’s Eve and Day and to avoid gathering with those outside of your household to prevent further spread of this deadly virus.

County officials confirmed the addition of 317 new positive COVID-19 test results. Seven of those new cases come from nursing homes. Tragically, officials also announced four additional Coronavirus related deaths. Currently, there are a record high 167 county residents hospitalized in Oneida County (153 at MVHS, 14 at Rome Memorial). 14 county residents are hospitalized outside the county. There are currently 5,231 active positive cases.

There is no doubt people will be tempted to have large gatherings to ring in 2021, but health officials warn of doing so. Health experts are continuing to urge people to do whatever they can to help get a handle on this ongoing crisis in the Mohawk Valley. I know it feels like Groundhog Day, but the recommendations bear repeating. Wash your hands, cover your mouth and nose, practice social distancing. As someone who experienced COVID-19 and realizing how easily it can spread, it's not something to ignore.

Let's make 2020 a distant memory by having a safe 2021.

LOOK: Just some of the photos that capture the historic year that was 2020