Don't let your guard down just because there's only one new case. That was the message from Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente at his daily coronavirus briefing on Monday.

"We've seen more in the last four days than we've seen in the last two weeks here in Oneida County," said Picente. "The numbers are going up."

Picente was frustrated that people are congregating during restaurant pick ups, in parks and other social settings. "You have to start listening.  The numbers are going up. The virus is all around us. We must continue social distancing," said Picente.  "We need to take this seriously, even though there was one case in today, there were nine in yesterday," he added.

There are now a total of 38 positive COVID-19 cases in Oneida County.  Eight residents who have tested positive are currently being treated in Oneida County hospitals. There is also an undisclosed number of non-county residents being treated locally. The conditions of those patients vary, including some on ventilators in ICU. There have been 22 newly confirmed COVID cases in Oneida County since Friday.

Picente also discussed a handful major construction projects currently underway in the county and how they're affected by the Governor's ban on non-essential construction.  Projects like the downtown hospital in Utica, and Cree in Marcy, along with Rome projects like Orgill Inc., Sky Dome, and Cold Point have been deemed essential and will not be a part of the COVID-19 construction ban.  Meanwhile, Utica's NEXUS project, a multi-level sports venue for soccer, hockey and lacrosse, is currently halted and considered non-essential. However, the county has requested an exemption for that project due to the fact that the location is in the middle of downtown Utica.  The NEXUS Center, located next to the Utica Aud, is scheduled to open later this fall.

During the briefing, Picente also updated the medical supply issue at MVHS and Rome Memorial Hospital. He said a new shipment of PPE was delivered for each of the Oneida County hospitals. The supply was provided by New York State.

Some Additional Picente Reminders

-Don't call 911 without an emergency.  

-Testing is still being done for those patients that still have the conditions that warrant one,  starting with the hospital patients.

-Don't flush Clorox Wipes or non-flushable anti-bacterial wipes.

-Support local businesses if you can. Please support them the best you can during this crisis. We want to keep the economy going and keep as many people working as we can.  

-The county recently set up a Mental Health Hotline which was made active on Friday morning. It's a free service available for people to speak one-on-one with mental health professionals by calling 1-800-678-0888. The service is available from 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. each Monday through Friday.

-Picente continued to remind people to remain vigilant when it comes to social distance. He asked people to avoid crowds, refrain from hosting house guests and to continue practicing proper hygiene. He reminded people that if they witness an employer or business not following the Governor's zero percent workforce order, they can file a report with the New York State Attorney General's office at 212-416-8700. There's also a web link to the Labor Department on the county's website.

-Picente has also asked residents to turn on their porch light during nighttime hours to signify support for first responders and health care workers throughout the county.

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COVID-19 Coronavirus Numbers as of 3 p.m. March 30, 2020

DESCRIPTIONITEM
Tested Positive, Hospitalized in Oneida County8
New Cases in Last 24-hours1
Total Confirmed Positive38
Confirmed Negative290
Total tested568
Mandatory. Quarantine278
Precautionary Quarantine234
Total people discharged from Quarantine442

Pending test results as of Saturday:  Over 240

Test results are now taking from a couple of days to a few days to return, according to Phyllis Ellis, Oneida County Director of Health.