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Health

Central and northern New York now on COVID high transmission list

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Several counties in central and northern New York are now considered to be areas of elevated spread of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently upgraded Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga, and St. Lawrence counties to its high transmission list. In these communities, the CDC recommends unvaccinated and vaccinated people alike wear masks indoors.

Local officials blame the recent increase in daily positivity rates on the Delta variant, which is infecting younger residents of the region as well as some people who have been vaccinated. Nevertheless, Oswego County public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said people should get vaccinated as it can still make a difference.

“After infection, most of them are mild symptoms and no symptoms and so far in our county, we have less than a handful of hospitalizations and no deaths from COVID-19,” Huang said of those who have been vaccinated already. “So, this means vaccine is effective in preventing severe disease hospitalization and death.”

This latest surge in transmission of COVID comes as students prepare to return to the classroom and right before the start of the New York State Fair on Friday. To combat further spread of the virus, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon recently issued an executive order requiring everyone to wear masks while indoors at the fair.