15 New Cases In July; 4 In

Hospitals, 3 On Ventilators


CDC image of the coronavirus

After a quiet May and June, 15 cases since the beginning of July, nine in the past week, may mean we’re heading right back where we started from.

Heidi Bond

“This increase is similar to what we were seeing in the beginning,” county Public Health Director Heidi Bond said Tuesday. “If we continue to see a rise in cases, it could set us back.”

Four of the new cases have been hospitalized, two at Bassett Hospital, one at Fox and one at Albany Med, she said. Three of the four are on ventilators.

Four are in the City of Oneonta, and one in the Village of Cooperstown.

“It’s very concerning,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “We hope it’s just a blip and not a trend.”
“There’s no explanation for this,” she said, “My only thought is that it’s two weeks past July 4, people were out and about, they were gathering more than usual.”

Mayor Herzig

“To some extent, it’s not a big surprise,” said Herzig. “People are becoming more relaxed,
visitors from outside the area are coming in.”

The good news, she said, is that there’s no trend or common source, and only one of the cases was linked to travel to one of the 22 “hot spots” in the county.

Herzig, one of two county representatives on the Mohawk Valley Regional Control Room, said, as of Tuesday’s meeting, the spike is not being seen throughout the rest of the region.

“We are not in any short-term, visible jeopardy of not moving forward with reopening,” said Herzig. “We need to continue to be vigilant and take all precautions.”

In all, the county has had 93 confirmed cases, with five deaths.

Looking at the new cases in context makes them less worrisome, said county Board Chairman David Bliss, the other local member of the regional control room.

David Bliss

While half the new cases are in southern Otsego County, “they aren’t bunched up in any one place.,” he said.  A quarter are health-care workers.  And four of the cases are two couples, husbands and wives. “If you count households,” he said, “that cuts the number significantly.  That cuts the quarantine spots.”

“I think, like a lot of places, it just comes and goes,” said Bliss.  “We have to be careful about county people who travel out of the county to other states.  But people are going to continue to get it until we get herd immunity or a vaccine.”

Meanwhile, he urged people to social distance and wear masks.

On Monday, June 20, 206 people were tested. “We’re ramping testing back up,” Bond said.

Currently, Bassett Healthcare is only testing those who are symptomatic. But with the rise in cases, Bond said, her Health Department will be setting up testing sites for anyone who wants to get a test.

The locations have not yet been determined, but Bond is hoping they’ll be in a rural setting where citizens may not have as much access to health care.

Bond continued to stress social distancing, wearing a mask and washing hands. She also warned that “nonessential” social gatherings and travel anywhere besides essential business should be limited.

“Now is not the time to get complacent” she said. “We must all take responsibility to reduce the spread of the virus.”

“It’s a wake-up call,” said Herzig. “We cannot let our guard down.”


  1. Jamie

    I can tell you exactly why it’s happening:
    1) Everyone is going back to work and sharing their virus with their co-workers.
    2) Businesses have reopened and people are going out and socializing, sharing their virus with friends, family, and the general public.
    3) Cuomo’s “quarantine states” only apply to people flying into NY. I know several people who have driven to NY from southern “banned” hot spots without getting any of the “flack” or “attention” that people flying into the state get. Thus allowing carriers to cross our borders and share their infections with NYS citizens.
    As much as I do not like the idea of it, I feel like we are never going to get this under control (without the help of medicine) unless people start staying in their *own counties* and *staying home*, as much as physically possible, for 18 days. County-wide quarantines all at the exact same time… I do not see any other way to irradicate it without the help of medicine.

  2. Charles Hartley

    This virus always shows up as a few more cases in community as it has recently in Otsego County. The people who show symptoms now probably contracted the virus two weeks ago. Experts have know this fact about the virus for six months from the history of the virus in China, Italy, France, Great Britain, New York City, California etc. etc. ad nauseam. From infection to serious symptoms is 14 to 17 days. (Look it up!)

    Politicians should not ever wait for a buildup and then take measures; if you wait, it is too late. When Mayor Herzig declares that ““We are not in any short-term, visible jeopardy of not moving forward with reopening . . . “, he is just plain wrong. It is abundantly visible. With this virus there is no short term. If you have it in your community in any numbers, then it has been there spreading for at least two weeks. If one waits to take strict measures, one is just allowing more people to unnecessarily get infected and potentially die; it is just that simple. This happened in all the places I mentioned earlier; it is so predictable!

    i suspect there is a strong causal connection between the rise of cases in Oneonta and the return of some college students to their apartments in town; some have already returned. If there is, then when the colleges open in a few weeks the infections will spread throughout the college communities and eventually throughout the entire city. And, this will go undetected at first because it takes two weeks for the newly infected show symptoms.

    I see nothing positive about the news that there is a slight rise of cases in Otsego county– nothing!

  3. Anonymous

    Hey Mr Mayor invite some more visitors in an not enforce them to isolate like they are supposed to! Oh that’s right your locals lives are expendable because your eyes see nothing but money when it comes to your towns well being. Great job keep up the great work, we will applaud you when we have a 6th death.

  4. Mary Ethier

    Don’t let Spinning Wheels Demolition Derby come to Otsego County Fair Grounds on Aug. 28-30. They are coming from all over

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