Continuing am unfortunate trend, Oneida County announced Wednesday the death of two more county residents to coronavirus, while the county also continued to break records for hospitalizations and active cases.

Oneida County has reported at least one death on each of the first eight days of December. The two most recent deaths are the 163rd and 164th caused by COVID-19 since March. Of those, 15 have come this month.

County Executive Anthony Picente also announced 264 new COVID positive test results on Wednesday, driving the county's active cases total to 2,829 - setting a new record in the active case column for the 17th consecutive day.

More troubling is what lies ahead.

The number of Oneida County residents hospitalized with the virus also set a new all-time high, now at 119. Mohawk Valley Health System is caring for 85 of those,  Rome Memorial is treating 20, and 14 more are hospitalized outside Oneida County.

Of the 119 hospitalized with the virus, 15 are in the intensive care unit, Picente said.

After announcing the county's numbers on Wednesday, Picente thanked and congratulated Public Health Director Phyllis Ellis before announcing she would be retiring next week. Ellis has spent four decades in health care and has served as Public Health Director for Oneida County since 2013. Her last day on the job is December 16.

Picente said news Ellis' replacement would be coming soon.

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In Herkimer County, health officials reported 33 new cases and no deaths.

Active cases in Herkimer County did hit a new high, now at 384.

The number of residents hospitalized with the virus dropped has dropped to seven. That number was eight for the last several days.


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