COLUMN: If Numbers Keep Rising In Mohawk Valley Region, County May Be Re-Closed


If Numbers Keep Rising

In Mohawk Valley Region,

County May Be Re-Closed


Richard Sternberg, a retired Bassett Hospital orthopedic surgeon, has agreed to provide his professional perspective while the coronavirus threat continues. Dr. Sternberg, who is also a village trustee, resides in Cooperstown.

At his news conference today, Governor Cuomo made public the result of the latest antibody testing story for all of New York State. The numbers don’t look good for the Mohawk Valley region (which includes Otsego County), and the governor made a brief comment to that effect.

The antibody testing indicates that somebody’s had the disease.

The Mohawk Valley had the largest percentage gain of patients who took the test that turned up positive. Previous tests showed 2.7 percent positive; we now have 5.5 percent positive. This is a gain of 2.8 percent or more than twice the rate previously. This puts us in the top four regions in the state in terms of percentage positive.

Only New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley have higher numbers   We also have the second largest increase in percentage with a gain of 2.8 percent for a relative gain from our previous one of over 100 percent. Only the North Country had a higher relative percent increase and it started out at about half our rate.

To put that in perspective, New York City only had approximately a 20 percent gain from its numbers in the previous survey.

If these trends continue, we are going to be shut down again. The governor said if numbers continue to increase, we would go back to zero.

I see plenty of people walking around Cooperstown without masks on or even on their bodies when they’re within 6 feet of someone else. I’m hearing stories of people going into eating places without their masks even before they get to their tables. I’ve seen people in stores who weren’t wearing masks and certainly coming in close contact with other people.

This is a message to the proprietors of businesses that have opened and to our local governments: If you don’t control the social distance rules, the increasing numbers will do it for us and we go back to PAUSE. The governor said on several occasions that if bars and restaurants don’t maintain order, they could lose their liquor license.  Those things are probably more devastating to business long term than what we’ve already gone through.

Nobody wants to be considered a jerk, but those of us who feel seriously about this need to do something. I am not advocating directly confronting strangers. You never know where that would go. But businesses have to keep these people out. And government has to control this in public. If you see violations that upset you and you can’t get any local response call the state Department of Health hotline and they will get a response for you.

8 thoughts on “COLUMN: If Numbers Keep Rising In Mohawk Valley Region, County May Be Re-Closed

  1. Dee

    Betty Beavers in Otego – no one wearing masks especially the employees.
    Mandys in Mt Vision – packed even before it was allowed
    Lowes/Home Depot – many many people without masks.

    People are taking their kids out now and into stores

  2. Karen Andela

    So…are you saying the antibodies test results are raising? Do you mean that there are people who have contracted and healed from the disease? I thought antibodies would be a positive result, not a reason to backtrack our society.

  3. Barbara Christman

    It goes to show you, “You give people an inch, they’ll take a mile”. Sure we’re all tired of having to wear masks and they’re inconvenient, but really folks, can’t we please try to protect each other. We really don’t want to be shut down again. Do we?!

  4. Steve F.

    Masks don’t work….end of discussion. Why do you insist they do? And who says they do?

  5. Luke

    I find this article to be a little disingenuous. While discussing antibody testing it mysteriously leaves out the actual COVID testing numbers of Otsego and surrounding counties. So there was an increase in positive antibody tests, ok, what’s the value of that? Antibody testing doesn’t tell us if the pt has IGG or IGM, it just list overall results. Honest journalism would aknolwdge that there has been a significant uptick in antibody testing and that we would expect to see an increase in overall percentage of positive tests as the rest of the country has experienced. But this article doesnt. Let’s talk about real data, what are the actual numbers of positive active cases in Otsego and surrounding counties. What are the hospitalization and death rates? But this article doesnt. It talks about the boogeymen, antibody testing, which gives mo indication of when and where these patients contracted COVID 19. I would think this newspaper and the M.D. writing this article would do a better job of reporting facts on our current COVID situation. For REAL information regarding the state of COVID 19 IN Otsego and surrounding counties, go to:
    There you will get data, not speculation!

  6. Barbara Riggs

    I’m sitting outside Mirabito Convenience store and so far two delivery people plus one customer have gone in with no masks on. Without fines people are giving in to everyone’s whims.
    Now two more Customers without masks one of which is a nurse. Here comes another guy with a mask around his beard. It’s so disheartening and very scary

  7. June

    Price Copper in Little Falls offers free masks to customers not wearing one. But there are customers walikng inSide the store without masks. I try to keep shopping trips to a minimum

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