Ukraine live briefing: More than 170 freed in prisoner swap; new U.S.-made bombs will double Ukraine’s reach     In one of South Sudan’s forlorn camps, even a papal visit feels far away     Attacking Vuhledar, Russia previews new push to seize southeast Ukraine      Ukraine live briefing: More than 170 freed in prisoner swap; new U.S.-made bombs will double Ukraine’s reach     In one of South Sudan’s forlorn camps, even a papal visit feels far away     Attacking Vuhledar, Russia previews new push to seize southeast Ukraine      In a world of drones and satellites, why use a spy balloon?     What to know about the suspected Chinese spy balloon     She lost her partner in the protests. Then her twins. She’s still at it.     Ukraine live briefing: More than 170 freed in prisoner swap; new U.S.-made bombs will double Ukraine’s reach     In one of South Sudan’s forlorn camps, even a papal visit feels far away     Attacking Vuhledar, Russia previews new push to seize southeast Ukraine      Ukraine live briefing: More than 170 freed in prisoner swap; new U.S.-made bombs will double Ukraine’s reach     In one of South Sudan’s forlorn camps, even a papal visit feels far away     Attacking Vuhledar, Russia previews new push to seize southeast Ukraine      In a world of drones and satellites, why use a spy balloon?     What to know about the suspected Chinese spy balloon     She lost her partner in the protests. Then her twins. She’s still at it.     
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coronavirus

STERNBERG: Diligence Called for, Now More Than Ever
Column by Richard Sternberg, M. D.

Diligence Called for,
Now More Than Ever

Again, just when it seemed we reached the point where we can go out with people and decrease our use of masks, COVID strikes back and possibly with more virulence than previous strains. The number of new strains to consider is large. New strains include BA.5.2.6, BA.4.1.9, BE.1.2, BA.4.7, BF.13 and XBB, among others. Already BA.5 and BA.4 strains have high penetrance in the U.S. The new and improved booster shots only use RNA to code for the original strains, BA.1 and BA.2

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others warn that this year the winter viral season will be worse than usual because we have to deal with flu and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). A side effect of the lockdowns and protective behavior over the last two years has been decreased contact between people so that influenza, rhinovirus (common cold), and other circulating viral illnesses have decreased, off-setting some of the increased mortality due to COVID. RSV is primarily a disease of children which makes it difficult for them to breathe and doesn’t have a vaccine yet. There are approximately 300 deaths in children in the U.S. each year from it.

This Week 09-01-22
In Memoriam Lloyd H. Johnson, 83 April 24 1938 – January 30, 2022

In Memoriam

Lloyd H. Johnson, 83

April 24, 1938 – January 30, 2022

Lloyd H. Johnson

ONEONTA – Lloyd H. Johnson, 83, passed away January 30, 2022 at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown from complications of Covid and underlying health conditions.

He was born April 24, 1938 in Halcott Center, the son of Milbert and Edna (Simmons) Johnson.

He married Rosanne Brickwedde on November 17, 1956 at St. Mary’s Church in Oneonta. Together they owned and operated the family dairy farm, Fairlane Farm on Delhi Stage until the early ‘80’s. Lloyd then drove truck until he was stricken with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. After a grueling recovery he went to work at Ouleout Golf Course in Franklin for close to 30 years.

COVID Update for January 26

COVID update for January 26

The latest information from the Otsego County Health Department shows:

79 new cases

9 hospitalized

0  new deaths reported

13.6  seven-day average percentage positive

Otsego County and all of New York State remains under an indoor-mask mandate from Governor Kathy Hochul, with exceptions under certain conditions when proof of vaccination is required for entry to an indoor public facility. Read more about New York State’s mask requirement at this link.

COVID update for January 25

COVID update for January 25

The latest information from the Otsego County Health Department shows:

104 new cases

7  hospitalized

0  new deaths reported

14.5  seven-day average percentage positive

Otsego County and all of New York State remains under an indoor-mask mandate from Governor Kathy Hochul, with exceptions under certain conditions when proof of vaccination is required for entry to an indoor public facility. Read more about New York State’s mask requirement at this link.

New York State Supreme Court judge overturns Governor Hochul’s indoor mask mandate

New York State Supreme Court judge overturns Governor Hochul’s indoor mask mandate

A New York State Supreme Court judge on Long Island overturned Governor Kathy Hochul’s indoor mask mandate – currently in place through February 1 – ruling the governor lacks the emergency powers to support the requirement.

Nassau County judge Thomas Rademaker ruled late on January 24 that the power to issue such a mandate remains only with the state Legislature after lawmakers approved a law in March 2021 to curb a governor’s authority to issue executive orders during a state emergency. That law walked back a March 2020 law giving former governor Andrew Cuomo widespread executive order power; he issued hundreds such orders during the first year of the pandemic.

Life during COVID: The ease of testing

Life during COVID: The ease of testing

By Richard Sternberg, M.D.

This morning (Monday, January 3), I was tested for COVID-19. The process was easy, quick, not particularly uncomfortable, and easy to schedule. While I would’ve preferred a rapid test to know whether or not I’m currently infected, I can wait a day or two for the PCR test — which was the one available — and still be diagnosed within five days of the onset of symptoms as recommended by the Center for Disease Control.

When I woke up Sunday morning I had a slight cough, some congestion (which I frequently have because of allergies) and a scratchy throat. Normally I would’ve gargled and thought nothing of it, but we live in interesting times. Because I had minor symptoms, I knew I should get a test as soon as possible.
I looked online for a testing appointment. but could find nothing for Sunday within 25 miles of Cooperstown, nor could I find any for Cooperstown (where I live) until this coming Thursday except for the state’s new facility opened last week in Milford. While they offer only online scheduling at this time, I was able to make an appointment for 10:20 that morning.

The facility is in the American Legion Post hall at 86 West Main Street in Milford, one half-block west
of the traffic light, on the left side of the road. The testing site operates Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.

Editorial: Omicron’s Paradox

Editorial:
Omicron’s Paradox

A COVID-weary public confronts the conundrum daily: Is this good news? Is it bad news?

We have to admit that we’re a little bit confused.

The Omicron caseload is frightening on its surface — ridiculously high numbers on a daily basis, top-of-the-fold newspaper coverage, lead-story status.

We’re so attuned to scary numbers and frightening graphs that when we hear about record-shattering daily positive tests coming back, the first thing we want to do is retreat to our quarantine corners and hide. We worry that we’re all going to become experts in the Greek alphabet before this is finished.
But then we look past the raw data and hear the experts say that with Omicron, it’s important to take a more analytical approach. Governor Kathy Hochul, on Monday, said, “People are testing at a much higher rate. It’s shocking in the scale of the number of people who are testing positive, but we’re grateful cases are not presenting themselves as severely as they did with Delta.” She cited encouraging news out of South Africa, where Omicron first was detected — a sharp jolt in positives followed by an equally sharp decline. “We have so many more defenses this time,” she said.

COVID Update for January 3

COVID Update for January 3

The latest information from the Otsego County Health Department shows:

398  active cases

81  new cases

7  hospitalized

0  new deaths reported

12 percent  seven-day average percentage positive

Otsego County and all of New York State remains under an indoor-mask mandate from Governor Kathy Hochul, with exceptions under certain conditions when proof of vaccination is required for entry to an indoor public facility. Read more about New York State’s mask requirement at this link.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Last Day for the Festival of Lights 01-03-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for MONDAY, JANUARY 3

Last Day for the Festival of Lights

14-19eventspage

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS – 5 – 10 p.m. Drive through a winter wonderland featuring light displays created by local businesses, individuals, and organizations. Admission is Free. Neahwa Park, Oneonta. Visit www.facebook.com/FNOneonta

COVID-19 TESTING – 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Get tested and protect your friends and relatives. Appointments appreciated. Walk-ins accepted. American Legion, 86 W. Main St., Milford. Visit https://appointments.bioreference.com/nystatecovidtesting to sign up.

State Opens COVID Testing Site in Milford Wednesday

State Opens COVID Testing
Site in Milford Wednesday

Governor Kathy Hochul responded to a request from Otsego County officials and will locate a new, state-run COVID-19 testing site in Milford.

The new site opens Wednesday, December 29 at the American Legion Post at 86 West Main Street; its hours of operation are as follows: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.; Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.

To make an appointment, visit:

appointments.bioreference.com/nystatecovidtesting

Life during COVID: December in Otsego

Life during COVID: December in Otsego

By Richard Sternberg M.D.

Checking the Otsego County Department of Health dashboard on December 20 showed a distinct uptick in a number of cases of COVID in recent days. Most of these still are probably from Delta, but also are beginning to reflect the Omicron variant. The website did not identify the specific variant of those cases.

Dr. Fauci says the number of cases of the Omicron across the United States doubles every two to three days. That in itself is very disturbing. The good news is that those who have been fully vaccinated and, where indicated, have received booster shots, generally show mild symptoms. The number of patients in intensive care units over the total number of people who tested positive shows a decline from those of a year ago. Additionally, the Paxlovid antiviral medication, when available and when properly indicated, seems to decrease the risk of serious complications by up to 90 percent.

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