News of Otsego County

delta variant

Opinion by Charles Hyman, M.D.: Delta variant or not, vaccines are best option

Opinion by Charles Hyman, M.D. Delta variant or not, vaccines are best option

There is a lot in the news about the Delta variant of COVID-19 that is now spreading across the United States, threatening to move us back to a time of lockdown, universal masking and social distancing. With all this buzz, I wanted to offer my friends and neighbors some helpful background information. Namely: What is this Delta variant and how did it occur?

Editorial: Charge!


Summer has come and almost gone here in Cooperstown, and there have been more people visiting us than in 2020. The streets are abuzz with eager baseball fans, casually swinging their newly made bats, avid bike riders waxing eloquently about their explorations of the hills and valleys of Otsego, and lake lovers fresh from a full day on and in the water. The shop owners, lodgings and restaurants have seen an uplift in sales from 2020, and the village has begun to feel a return to post-COVID life. That was then; now, alas, we are in the throes of returning to that COVID life, as the Delta surge runs through us.
If we are lucky though, this, too, shall pass.

Another interesting note is the increase around town of electric vehicles, both locally owned and from afar. The parking lot of the Otesaga is a good place to find them, as are Doubleday parking lot and, until this week, the Dreams Park and the trolley lots. Sleek, somewhat new and multi-colored, the out-of-towners have brought their owners here for a tour of the Hall of Fame, a week at the Dreams Park, some good productions at Glimmerglass, a round of golf, some lake fishing and a visit to the Fenimore Art Museum and Hyde Hall, and they have come from as far away as New York City and Washington, traveling over routes laid out in their respective maps that display the whereabouts of recharging stations along the way.

Otsego County nearly at high level of community transmission for COVID

Otsego County nearly at high level of community transmission for COVID

Staff Report • Special to

According to an Otsego County Department of Health press release, Otsego County is at a state where it could go from a substantial level of transmission to a high level of transmission as a result of the delta variant of the virus.

As such, they are continuing to recommend that everyone wear a masks indoor regardless of vaccination status.

In addition, they say there have been several cases where individuals have had repeat COVID infections, meaning that they got the virus after testing positive 90 days or more prior.

As of Thursday, Aug.12 , there are 82 cases in the county with 19 new cases reported and five hospitalizations. The Department of Health recommends that the public consider getting vaccinated if they have not already.

CDC and Otsego County Department of Health recommend everyone wear masks indoors, including the vaccinated

CDC and Otsego County Department of Health
recommend everyone wear masks indoors,
including the vaccinated

STAFF REPORT • Special to

The Otsego County Department of Health released a press release on Wednesday, Aug. 4, that said Otsego County was considered by the CDC to be at a “substantial level of community transmission”, and that they now recommend mask wearing indoors, even for those who have already been vaccinated.

Otsego County is currently at 50.5% vaccinated for adults, which is well below the state and country average of  around 70%.

This comes on the heels of Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig warning about the dangers of the delta variant and other future variants.

The Clark Sports Center is now requiring mask wearing indoors for all in response to the CDC recommendations as is the Cooperstown Farmer’s Market.

The Otsego County Department of Health will be holding an additional pop up clinic at the Otsego County fair from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug.4 at the EMS building.


Mayor Gary Herzig sounds warning about COVID variant at Common Council

Mayor Gary Herzig
sounds warning about
COVID variant
at Common Council

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

ONEONTA The Common Council meeting Tuesday, Aug. 3, began with a message from Mayor Gary Herzig regarding the recent updates regarding the delta variant of the coronavirus.

“We’re all concerned about the variant,” Herzig said. “The numbers aren’t alarming but they are going in the wrong direction.”

Herzig likened it to a race between the virus and vaccinations. “Unfortunately, what we didn’t see coming is the large number of people who didn’t want to get the vaccinations.”

Otsego County has a 57% vaccination rate, Herzig said, which is lower than both the state and national average of 70%.

As of Tuesday, there were three reported new cases in Otsego County, bringing the total cases up to 31, according to the Otsego County Department of Health, making it a 2.6% seven day positivity average.

“If it continues this way, it’s not just the delta variant, we give the virus time to create new variants which could be even worse,” Herzig said. “In the meantime, if you’re not vaccinated, wear a mask and if you are vaccinated, feel free to use a mask as a safety precaution.”

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