There are still no confirmed coronavirus cases in Oneida County, however, 15 tests still haven't come back yet, and 26 people are being monitored. That's according to Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, who addressed the media on Sunday afternoon regarding the ongoing Cornavirus (COVID-19) threat.

"This is no ordinary time", said Picente. He said the moves they are making are "designed to protect and isolate the community."

Picente also said that people who have the ability to work from home, should do so. He also strongly advised that upcoming events with over 50 people, be cancelled, if they haven't already. Several events have either been postponed or cancelled in the area including the Utica Comets, Utica Pioneers and Utica City FC.

"My team has been working round the clock since the State of Emergency was issued on Friday afternoon," Picente said during the press conference which was broadcast live over WIBX and the WIBX Facebook page.

On Friday, the County Executive declared a State of Emergency in Oneida County and closed all schools until April 14th. With the declaration of a State of Emergency, Picente will have a number of options opened going forward, when dealing with the health and safety of residents.

Picente also spoke about concern for senior residents in the county. He said that all senior centers in Oneida County have been closed and will remain closed until at least April 14. Additionally, daily meal delivery to seniors will be suspended and will be replaced by weekly delivery of frozen meals to cover the entire week. Picente said that they will be making contact with seniors through wellness phone calls on a daily basis. "We're trying to contain the spread and the contact that happens here," he added.

Picente also announced that he is closing the Department of Motor Vehicles in the county for at least a week. He will review the situation at the end of the week.

He also said we as a community need to calm down when it comes to the run on grocery stores. He said that this is not the type of emergency that warrants stockpiling supplies, and leaving grocery store shelves empty.

Village Elections

County Executive Picente says he is leaning towards postponing this week's village and town elections. "I've asked the Governor to do postpone the elections and if he doesn't do it statewide, I might do that here in Oneida County," said Picente.New York's village and town elections are scheduled for Wednesday.

"We've had all hands on deck here," said Picente. "And we will for the next several weeks,"  he said. "We're going to be transparent at all times."

Sunday's press conference was a rare weekend press briefing for a county executive that usually reserves weekdays for regular announcements. Picente stressed that he felt it was important to keep people abreast of the facts, especially with so much misinformation circulating on social media. Picente said he will be giving daily briefings at 3 p.m.while this crisis is active.


More From Lite 98.7