Oneida County had its worst day in the COVID-19 crisis with eight new cases testing positive overnight, according to Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. A total of 493 county residents have been tested so far to date and a total of 24 have been determined positive for the virus.

"The numbers are going to go up," said Picente in his daily briefing. Meanwhile, 264 tests have come back negative and 205 cases are still awaiting test results, Picente said. In addition, MVHS hospitals are currently treating 4 people who tested positive. There's no information being released on the condition of those people.

On Friday, during WIBX's daily briefing with MVHS Chief Physician Executive Dr. Kent Hall, it was revealed that at least 19 people who are waiting for test results are currently being treated at MVHS for coronavirus-like symptoms. The condition of those patients has not been released.

Earlier in the day, it was announced that Utica area Assemblyman Brian Miller (R-101 New Hartford) who represents parts of Herkimer and Oneida County, was admitted to an MVHS hospital after testing positive for COVID-19. Miller had been self quarantined at home after coming into contact with a person who tested positive in Albany.  "This is how it strikes home when you know someone," Picente said. We're praying for Brian and his family right now. I hope he gets well very soon."

Just prior to Picente's briefing, Governor Cuomo issued new restrictions for construction companies and construction projects in the state. Picente said he hadn't been able to dig through the new order but felt that major projects throughout the county including Cree in Marcy, and projects in Rome and in downtown Utica would be exempt. He also said contractors can apply for a case by case exemption.

The new Cuomo restrictions are designed to reinforce social distancing and sole proprietors are exempt. Fines of up to $10,000 are being threatened for those contractors in violation, according to the governor's release.

Picente said as test results come back, it's expected that the number of cases testing positive and admitted to local hospitals is expected to rise. Meanwhile, the current NYS PAUSE that requires 100% of non-essential workers to either work from home or be laid off, and additional restrictions on travel and social gatherings is causing stress on residents.  As a result, the county set up a Mental Health Hotline which was made active on Friday morning. It's a free service available for people to speak one-on-one with mental health professionals by calling 1-800-678-0888. The service is available from 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. each Monday through Friday.

Picente continued to remind people to remain vigilant when it comes to social distance. He asked people to avoid crowds, refrain from hosting house guests and to continue practicing proper hygiene. He reminded people that if they witness an employer or business not following the Governor's zero percent workforce order, they can file a report with the New York State Attorney General's office at 212-416-8700. There's also a web link to the Labor Department on the county's website.

Picente has also asked residents to turn on their porch light during nighttime hours to signify support for first responders and health care workers throughout the county.

There are now more than 47,000 positive coronavirus cases in New York State, significantly higher than any other U.S. state.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Numbers as of 3 p.m. March 27, 2020

DESCRIPTIONITEM
Tested Positive, Hospitalized at MVHS (Oneida County residents)4
New Cases in Last 24-hours8
Total Confirmed Positive24
Confirmed Negative264
Total tested493
Mandatory. Quarantine238
Precautionary Quarantine132
Total people discharged from Quarantine430

All hospitalized patients in Oneida County are at MVHS hospitals.

As of Thursday, 19 people are hospitalized at MVHS and awaiting coronavirus test results.