News of Otsego County





ONEONTA – If you were at the Red Jug Pub, 196 South Main St., between 6 p.m. and closing last Thursday, Jan. 21, you may have been exposed to COVID-19, the county Health Department announced a few minutes ago.

Monitor yourself for symptoms; if you develop any, get tested and isolate yourself, the health department recommends.

If you have any questions or concerns, call (607) 547-4231

Chancellor: SUNY Ready For Our Students To Return


Chancellor: SUNY-O Ready

For Our Students To Return

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras tells a press conference in SUNY Oneonta’s Dewar Arena today that he’s “optimistic” about the campus reopening Feb. 1 for the spring semester.  In the background campus President Dennis Craig.  (Ian Austin/


Student Chris Wilber tries out a saliva test that Malatras called “the best in the world.”

ONEONTA – “Testing is the secret sauce to our success,” SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said today at a noontime press conference as students begin returning to SUNY Oneonta in advance of the Feb. 1 start of the spring semester.

This coming semester, all students will be required to take a weekly swab test, “and we are using the number one saliva test in the world here at SUNY,” said Malatras, who appeared with campus President Dennis Craig at the Dewar Arena, where testing sites have been set up.

The swab,  in combination with mask wearing at all times and social distancing, makes him “optimistic” that last fall’s outbreak, where 750 students tested positive in a few days and campus was closed, will be avoided this spring.

Hospitalizations Dip To 5 Per Day, Cuomo Reports


Dip To 5 Per Day,

Cuomo Reports


ALBANY – Governor Cuomo had a lot of good news on the anti-COVID fight in his daily update delivered overnight. beginning with: “New York State is ready, willing and able to administer 100,000 vaccine doses a week.”

Next week’s allocation is about to arrive, although the governor didn’t get into anticipated doses.  “I’m hopeful that the Biden Administration will take steps to increase production and shorten the anticipated timeline,” he said.

In addition:

Lord’s Table Serves Up 800 Thanksgiving Meals


Lord’s Table, St. Mary’s

Serve Up 800 Meals

In a collaboration of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Lord’s Table, 600 meals – turkey with all the trimmings – had already gone out the door for delivery by noon Thanksgiving Day, when curbside pickup began. Above, Volunteers Rosemary Collie and Keton Kling, both Oneontans, shuttles  bags of food to the Lord’s Table.  “We were averaging about 10 meals a minute.” said event overseer Mary Southern, seen at right advising Joyce Collier.  “This year people are in even more need and we are making sure they all have food This year we planned for 800 meals.” The only lull in the action came when the turkey ran out with a handful of dinners to go. Some volunteers offered up their own meals without hesitation. Others were dispatched to Hannaford and returned with enough turkey to complete the meals. “This is the first year we ever ran out of turkey!” said Southern, “But we will provide!” Volunteer driver Paul Patterson, his car filled with meals, rolled his window down on the way to deliver meals saying, “Mary did an amazing job. It was like clockwork. Henry Ford would have been proud!” (Ian Austin/

Flood Past At SUNY, But Cases Dribble In

Flood Past At SUNY,

But Cases Dribble In

CDC image of coronavurus

COOPERSTOWN – While the flood of COVID cases at SUNY Oneonta is past, new cases still are dribbling in: two involving students in the past three days, county Public Health Director Heidi Bond reported this afternoon.

Before that, only two cases had been reported since Thursday, Oct. 8.

So far, SUNY Oneonta accounts for 744 of 927 that surfaced in Otsego County since the start of the pandemic threat.

At Hartwick College, there have been no cases in several days.

As of today, there are eight active cases in the county, two hospitalizations and seven deaths.

First Hospitalization In 5 Weeks Reported

First Hospitalization

In 5 Weeks Reported

CDC image of coronavurus

ONEONTA – The first Otsego County hospitalization for COVID since Aug. 12 was contained in today’s report from the county Health Department.

Daily reports remained in single digits, at four: two SUNY Oneonta students,
one Hartwick student and one resident.

That brings COVID totals to:

SUNY Oneonta Tally Now 651 With COVID

SUNY Oneonta Tally

Now 651 With COVID

CDC image of the coronavirus

ONEONTA – After reporting no new cases on Sunday, SUNY Oneonta last evening reported another 54 COVID-19 cases had appeared Monday.  That brings SUNY’s tally to 651 students, and no employees have yet tested positive, the college reported.

Also last evening, the county Health Department reported 31 cases from the SUNY campus, and said the discrepancy has to to do with timing and double-checking.   It reports 685 SUNY cases, 34 more than the college.

One More COVID Case Locally, One In Hospital

One More COVID Case

Locally, One In Hospital

CDC image of the coronavirus

COOPERSTOWN – Another new local COVID-19 case was reported today, bring this week’s total to five, and one of the current cases was hospitalized.

That brings us in Otsego County to 117 total cases since March, of which 106 have recovered.  The five active cases and six deaths — none in weeks — round out the total.

4 COVID-19 Cases Surface This Week

4 COVID-19 Cases

Surface This Week

Still, No New Hospitalizations Reported

CDC image of the coronavirus

COOPERSTOWN – Another new local case of COVID-19 was reported today, the fourth this week, bringing the total since March to 116.

Of those, the county Health Department reported one on Tuesday and two on Wednesday.  However, there are no current hospitalizations.

3 Of SUNY Stances ‘Disappoint’ Mayor


3 Of SUNY Stances

‘Disappoint’ Mayor

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

ONEONTA – As college students began to return to COVID-19 Era instruction, Mayor Gary Herzig praised Hartwick College’s collaboration with the city, but said SUNY Oneonta has fallen short in three area of concern.

Mayor Herzig
Dr. Morris
President Morris

“We have a community here that established new norms over the past five months,” said Herzig.  “There’s been much self-sacrifice in keeping our numbers low.  It’s important to communicate directly to those in large numbers who are coming in the community, to familiarize them with current norms and the realities we face.”

He said the three points of contention are:

  • One, Hartwick distributed a letter of welcome and instruction from the mayor through its internal communications to students, and posted it on the college’s social media, but SUNY Oneonta would not. College President Barbara Jean Morris “felt that it created an ‘us-vs-them’ environment, which I strongly disagree with,” said the mayor. The letter welcomes students, but also warns overcrowded house parties can bring $1,000 fines.
  • Two, Hartwick College and Hillside Commons, the student apartments, agreed with City Hall’s decision to halt evening shuttle buses between the campuses and downtown, to reduce risks of COVID spread in crowded bars. Instead, SUNY’s Student Association and its adviser disagreed, and are negotiating with Hale Bus Co., Madison County, to continue evening runs, (albeit, for shopping in Southside Mall.)
  • Three, President Morris, as of last week, was resisting participation in an “opt in” SUNY Upstate plan to “pool test” students, 20 at a time, for COVID. (It turns out the campus is participating in an innovative COVID-control collaboration; see related story, A1)

This Week, 8 Cases Surface

This Week, 8

Cases Surface

CDC image of the coronavirus

COOPERSTOWN – Eight news cases of coronavirus have been reported locally this week, county Director of Public Health Heidi Board said this afternoon.

That raised the number of active cases in county from 10 to 13.

As of today, there were 105 total cases, up from 99 Monday.  The new total includes the 13, plus 87 who have recovered, and the five deaths experienced since cases first appeared in mid-March.

90-Year-Old, Three Others Off Ventilators
Reprinted From This Week’s
Hometown Oneonta, Freeman’s Journal


Three Others

Off Ventilators

Bond Says COVID Seems Milder,

As Latest Victims Out Of Danger

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

County Public Health Director Heidi Bond

COOPERSTOWN – A 90-year-old hospitalized with COVID-19 last week is out of the hospital and recovering, Heidi Bond, Otsego County Public Health director, reported yesterday.

CDC image of the coronavirus

“All the people who were hospitalized have improved,” she said. “No one is on a ventilator anymore.”

After a quiet weekend – no cases were reported on Saturday, Sunday or Monday – on Tuesday, July 28, one new case was reported in the Village of Cooperstown and two were reported in the City of Oneonta.

No New Cases Here In 14 Days

No New Cases

Here In 14 Days

CDC image of the coronavirus

COOPERSTOWN – No new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Otsego County in 14 days, county Public Health Director Heidi Bond reported today.

“While this is very good news, it continues to be very important that individuals continue to practice social distancing and wear a mask when you cannot maintain a 6-foot distance,” Bond said.

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