Like a runaway train, COVID cases continue to mount locally, and both Oneida and Herkimer counties reported new coronavirus deaths on Friday.

After Thursday's report set a new high in Oneida County for cases reported in a single-day high with 255, the county set another new record high announcing 273 COVID positive tests on Friday.

That came with the sad news that the county has lost two more residents to the virus, the 155th and 156th since March. In the last ten days, Oneida County has reported 15 COVID deaths.

In addition to record cases, hospitalizations and active cases in Oneida County again reached new heights in Friday's report. There are now 86 county residents hospitalized with the virus, 81 in-county and 5 outside the area.

And, for the twelfth consecutive day, the county set a new high for active cases, now at 2,297.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente released this statement as part of the daily update:

“Today, is clearly another alarming day. I want to be clear, your County government continues to do everything it can to mitigate the spread of this virus. At this time the most important action people can take is stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary, especially when they are sick.

It is imperative that everyone take every precaution to stay safe. Wear a mask, stay socially distant, stay home, wash your hands and avoid congregating with those not in your immediate household. Collective community action is the key to reversing these numbers.

Picente is planning to hold news conference on Monday to 'layout the next steps' in the virus fight, the statement read.

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Herkimer County also reported a fatality on Friday - the 14th to die from the virus since mid-March. It was the county's second COVID death this week.

Herkimer County added 30 new positive tests, which moved the active case total back up to 281, just shy of the county's record 292, set earlier this week.

Hospitalizations among Herkimer County residents infected with the virus grew to ten, up from eight on Thursday.

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