UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) – Oneida County is now considered substantial level of community transmission of COVID-19. The highest spread of cases is happening in places with low vaccination rates.
“The guidance now from the CDC is for people that are in situations where they are encountering others vaccinated and unvaccinated. it’s recommended that people wear…and are strongly encouraged to wear masks,” said Oneida County Health Department Director Daniel Gilmore
Part of the reason for the rise in cases is the the fact that we have transitioned back into full-capacity gatherings. However, Gilmore tells us the main reason for the increase in cases is the Delta Variant.
“It spreads much easier and there are more break through cases with the delta variant and break through cases are people that are vaccinated becoming symptomatic and actually coming down with COVID but if they’re vaccinated they have less severe symptoms and are less likely to be hospitalized,” said Gilmore.
These COVID-19 levels rise students are getting ready to head back to school. with the end of the state disaster emergency school districts have been put back in charge of developing safe plans for in-person learning.
“Superintendents they do care about their students. they do consult with the Oneida county health department and many of them are developing plans as we speak…probably all of them are…to develop their schools in a safe manner,” said Gilmore
The Oneida county health department is advising that schools follow the most current CDC guidance when putting together their COVID safety precautions for the upcoming school year.
“Being in a substantial risk zone right now that would be to wear a mask when in school whenever possible. and to have as low density of the classrooms as possible…I think that’s what has to be done to open schools safely this coming school year,” Gilmore added
Vaccines are readily available throughout Oneida County and the appointments can be made on the Oneida County website.