OSWEGO COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Concerns are growing in Oswego County, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. County leaders came together Friday morning to address the rising cases. Earlier this week, the city of Oswego declared a state of emergency after it’s only hospital had to go on ambulance diversion.

As cases and concerns rise, elected officials are now doing all they can to slow the spread.

“I am mandating masks to be worn in all city facilities, that includes city employees and the public. That’s starting immediately,” says Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow.

The city also waiting for department of health approval to send firefighters into Oswego Health to provide monoclonal therapy, a treatment that helps COVID patients recover quicker.

Mayor Barlow added, “Our Oswego firefighters are obviously paramedics, EMS, EMTS. So they can go in and administer this treatment and what that would do is free up Oswego Health personnel to go do something else.”

Oswego County also announcing a restructuring plan for the health department.

“That will enhance the department staff and resources in area of disease monitoring mitigation, health education and emergency planning response and that will be to 1.8 million dollars with 12 additional personnel,” says Chairman James Weatherup, Oswego County Legislature.

Chairman Weatherup says he recognizes that people are tired. But says we need to focus our efforts on fighting this virus and not each other.

As of Thursday, there were almost 700 new positive COVID-19 cases over the past week, and 19 new hospitalizations in the county.

“We’re one of the worst areas in the state right now. This is the worst point that we’ve been, data wise since the pandemic started and as I alluded to a second ago, we still have to go through holiday party season, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day. We have a new variant coming up the thru-way that isn’t here already, its bound to be here eventually. So the worst isn’t behind us,” says Mayor Barlow.

County leaders are continuing to remind the public to get vaccinated and mask up.