Oswego Co. investigates cluster of COVID-19 cases


OSWEGO COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Oswego County Health Department is working with the New York State Department of Health to investigate a cluster of new, positive COVID-19 cases in Oswego County.

Several families and their work locations are currently being investigated.

At this time, seven Oswego County residents who work at Champlain Valley Speciality of N.Y., Inc. have tested positive. This company is a food processing facility in the Town of Oswego.

The county and state health departments are testing all employees at that facility for the virus.

Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said the investigation is evolving quickly and the number of positive cases is expected to change after further testing and following up with patient contacts.

The county health department became aware of the outbreak through its ongoing disease investigations.

“The County Health Department is investigating in accordance with state guidance. We are, as usual, doing our due diligence in contact tracing and assisting those newly identified cases, which happen to include both employees and family members of employees,” said Huang.

Oswego County Medical Director Dr. Christina Liepke said the employer is cooperating with the health department and is compliant with the guidelines that have been established by the state health department.

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets investigated the facility and determined that the food product does not pose a threat to consumers and does not need to be recalled.

“It appears this cluster was initially transmitted through community spread,” said Oswego County Legislature Chairman Jim Weatherup. “Our health department is working closely with the New York State Health Department to ensure all necessary testing, tracing and control measures are in place to effectively control its spread. This is why it’s so important that we all practice social distancing, wear face masks in public, and follow the other state guidelines to prevent further transmission of COVID-19.”

Health officials are urging residents to take the following precautions:

  • Wear a face mask or covering over your nose and mouth
  • Avoid non-essential gatherings
  • Keep six feet away from other people
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Call your healthcare provider from home if you are experiencing symptoms
  • Call 911 if you are experiencing life-threatening conditions

Symptoms of the coronavirus include the following:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Gastrointestinal illness
  • New loss of taste or smell

Additional questions can be directed to the Oswego County Health Department COVID-19 hotline at (315) 349-3330 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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