UTICA, N.Y. (UPDATED) – There were 108 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oneida County Friday, according to County Executive Anthony Picente, which is the highest single-day total since the start of the pandemic.
“Today is a call to action, again, we have been under a state of emergency since March 13. If I could call a state of emergency on top of the state of emergency, I would do just that, because these numbers are very dangerous.”
Picente is pleading with residents to follow safety precautions, so the county doesn’t have to step in and put more restrictions in place.
Large crowds have been the primary source of spread, according to Picente, including school sports games and congregations at places of worship.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also attributes the statewide rise in cases to large gatherings. On Wednesday, Cuomo announced new restrictions that require bars, restaurant and gyms to close at 10 p.m., and limit private gatherings to 10 people.
With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, officials are trying to discourage large private gatherings to control the spread.
Picente: no one will come to your home & count heads Thanksgiving. It's smart to be safe & keep it under 10. We control our destiny. We can do a better job.
— Joleen Ferris (@joleenferris) November 13, 2020
“We need all people to come to arms in this regard. This virus is deadly. This virus is crippling. And it’s crippling not just to people with the illness – it’s crippling to the economy. If this does not get under control…in the next few days, drastic action, as I said, will be taken.”
He urged local officials to continue to encourage compliance out in their communities.
Picente warned that the repercussions of shutting down will have more of an impact than it did in April, when there was a federal stimulus, pandemic unemployment payment, and other assistance programs that are no longer offered.
If the Mohawk Valley reaches a 3% positivity rate, the region could be placed in a yellow zone by the state, leading to more restrictions. As of Thursday, the county's rate was 2.2%.