NEW YORK STATE – The New York State Department of Health is working to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in Central New York.

On Thursday, the CDC updated the community transmission maps, placing 3 New York counties in the “high transmission” category. Those counties are Onondaga, Oswego and Cayuga.

New COVID cases and hospitalizations in Central New York are growing, outpacing the rest of the state by far.

According to the Department of Health, Onondaga County’s 7-day average case rate is 47.7 per 100,000 residents, compared to the statewide average of 15.6%.

Statewide, cases of the virus are rising, but still remain low.

“The high number of COVID-19 cases in Central New York suggests that transmission of the virus is widespread throughout the region, and levels remain above the state average,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. “The good news is we have tools to address this. I urge all New Yorkers to remain vigilant and take steps to protect themselves and their families by getting a COVID-19 vaccine and booster dose when eligible, getting a test following exposure or when developing symptoms, staying home and isolating when symptomatic, talking to your healthcare provider about treatment if you do test positive, and recommend wearing a mask regardless of vaccination status in public indoor places. Treatment is widely available and works best if taken within five days of symptom onset, so get tested quickly after symptoms arise.”   

Where does this leave Broome County? According to the Department of Health’s website, Broome County’s 7 day average is currently 18.0%. One of the factors in getting to high is an average greater than 20.0%, with new hospital beds and admissions factored in.

The State says that those living in the three high risk counties should wear a well fitting mask while indoors, and those who are not vaccinated and boosted should do so.