Despite a very strong vaccine rollout to this point, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of two more Oneida County residents.

Oneida County officials announced Monday the addition of 55 new positive COVID-19 cases and tragically 2 additional COVID-19 related deaths. 19 cases were added on Saturday, April 3rd and 36 positive cases were added on Easter Sunday. One of the lives lost was that of a nursing home resident. The current number of active positive cases stands at 406. Officials say these totals reflect the numbers from Saturday and Sunday, as numbers were not reported on Easter.

As of Monday there were 17 residents hospitalized in Oneida County with 16 at MVHS and 1 at Rome Health. 3 of the residents hospitalized inside the county are nursing home residents. There are two additional county residents hospitalized outside the county.

When it comes to the vaccine distribution in Oneida County, the rollout has been strong. According to the New York State Department of Health's COVID-19 Vaccine tracker 54,735 individuals have completed a vaccine series in Oneida County (both doses of Pfizer or Moderna or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson). 77,647 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose. That translates to about 43% of Oneida County's adult population has been given at least one shot, while 30% have been fully vaccinated. At the county operated POD locations 21,077 first doses have been administered, while 13,212 second doses have been given.

The important thing to note about these latest numbers is that death is still happening and the spread is continuing, even if the numbers remain steady. This virus continues to be a threat to anyone and masks, social distancing and proper hand hygiene is a must. Hopefully, one day soon the numbers and the threat will be so microscopic, that the county and surrounding areas may return to some semblance of normalcy. Until then, the community must do their part to protect one another.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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