COVID-19

Local counties are warning that a surge in COVID-19 cases is getting worse.

The Otsego County Department of Health issued a media release Thursday, saying the county is "at a substantial level of community transmission, and is on the verge of becoming high level of community transmission."

The county reported 78 new cases within the last week, 41 more than the week before. According to the Department of Health website, there were 82 active cases in the county Thursday, with five people hospitalized. No new deaths were reported in Otsego in the past week.

"CDC & Otsego County Department of Health recommends everyone (even those who are fully vaccinated) wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others," the release said.

Several cases of repeat COVID-19 infection were reported. According to the release, repeat infection is when someone is infected with COVID-19 and tests positive again 90 or more days later.

The repeat infections are mostly occurring in unvaccinated people, the release said.

"This reinforces that immunity from natural infection diminishes after 90 days. It is important if you have had COVID-19 and are not vaccinated please consider getting vaccinated to prevent a reinfection," the release said.

Clinic sites can be found at otsegocounty.com or covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ and many pharmacies are offering vaccinations, the release said.

Delaware County is already at the high transmission level, according to the weekly media release from Delaware County Public Health.

County officials offered the same guidance on wearing masks to prevent transmission.

According to the release, there were 78 new cases in the county in the past week. There are 76 active cases and three people hospitalized. There are 110 people under mandatory quarantine.

Chenango County, meanwhile, has announced a new mask mandate for county buildings.

"Due to an increased spread of COVID-19, Chenango County is requiring mandatory face masks in all County Buildings and Offices at the start of business on Monday, August 16, 2021," a media release said. "All employees and members of the public (vaccinated and unvaccinated) fall under this requirement."

The county Health Department also recommended that Chenango County businesses, organizations and schools "immediately implement a face mask requirement for their vaccinated and unvaccinated employees, patrons and students.

"We appreciate everyone's efforts to defeat COVID-19 in our community so that we can all get back to a normal lifestyle." the release said.

Chenango reported 51 new cases in the week leading to Thursday, Aug. 12, an increase of 12 over the week before. There were 60 active cases in the county, with three people hospitalized.

Schoharie County reported 41 new cases in the past week, 20 more than than the previous week. It's testing positivity rate was 7.6% — 2.9% higher than the previous week.

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