UTICA, NY - Oneida County has blown by it's previous single-day record for coronavirus cases, reporting 214 cases Tuesday afternoon. That's nearly double the prior single-day record of 109, set November 18th.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. held a live briefing Tuesday afternoon to share that alarming number, and some new developments. The county will no longer publish exposures. Picente says the current high numbers indicate that the virus is all around us, expanding quickly in every corner of the county.
At Picente's request, New York State will expand testing at Griffiss, in Rome, from six to seven days a week. The county won't be reporting any numbers or other statistics on Thanksgiving, in part, because they're switching to a new data system.
Picente urged people who've been exposed to someone with the virus and are feeling sick, to stay isolated until they get their test results and stay quarantined for 14 days. He also recommended that people celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with only their household.
"I know it's hard to accept. I know it makes some people very angry about telling who they could have in their household for a major holiday such as this. But if we want to celebrate more holidays with our families, we have to be cautious," said Picente.
"Please take precautions. Please stay within your regular bubble of your household. Abide by the 10 and under guideline. More importantly, it's safer to just gather with those in your household."
Picente said the good news is, the county isn't in the yellow zone of new restrictions - yet.
"We could end up in the yellow zone. We've been hovering at 2.8, even 2.9, so we're close and that's why I cautioned everyone last week that we were close to that number and we remain so. We'll know more in the next couple days as we look at the overall infection rate. But, again, I caution people we're not there, that's the good news, but we could easily get there," said Picente.
Picente said there are no current plans to expand the zip code testing, which is currently being done in Utica's 13501 zip code.