Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says there are 459 active cases in the county, which is the highest number of cases since the pandemic began in March.
In the past eight days, there have been 284 positive cases.
“The past two weeks have been very concerning for Oneida County, the state, the country," Picente said. "This is the surge we were told about for the fall.”
During his briefing, Picente spoke about where these cases are coming from. He says a majority of the cases are a result of "bad behavior" and people letting their guard down.
He says Halloween parties, weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, etc. have all contributed to the spike.
"We had a wedding that was held in the town of Trenton at a private residence, exceeding the number of people present," Picente said. "No distancing, no masks, no precautions, and far too many people."
He says his concern is that if the numbers don't go down, the governor will put more restrictions in place.
"I do not want to close businesses, I do not want to close this community, I want to keep this community moving forward," Picente said.
Picente spoke about requiring every municipality in the county to implement a COVID testing policy, which would require every government employee to be tested every two weeks.
He says as winter approaches, we can't afford for essential businesses to be shut down because of an outbreak.
"It is important for all governments to enact a testing protocol because of the services that are so essential," Picente said. "When roads can't get plowed, people can't get to work safely, emergency vehicles can't get to people in need safely. As we look ahead, these are the actions that need to be taken."
When asked about the possibility of closing schools, Picente says right now that is not a concern. He says if the infection rate gets too high or if there is a particular outbreak that is school related, he would then consider taking action.