Positive COVID cases have been slowly rising in Oneida and Herkimer counties, and some areas in neighboring Onondaga have received the 'Yellow Zone' designation. What does that mean for the Mohawk Valley?

What Happens if Oneida or Herkimer County Get Designated a Yellow Zone?

As of November 10, Oneida County has a rolling 7-day COVID positivity rate of 1.4%, with a spike of 56 positive cases reported. Herkimer County's average is 1.6% with 26 positive cases reported on the 10th.

If the Governor's office decides the increase in cases is enough to warrant a "Yellow Zone" designation, certain restrictions will be put in place. Those restrictions can be placed by zip code, or be applied to the whole county.

Credit: NYs.gov

A 'Yellow Zone' designation for Oneida or Herkimer County would mean:

  • Houses of worship are limited to 50% capacity
  • Mass gatherings are limited to 25 people, whether indoors or outdoors (how this would affect youth sports is not clear)
  • Businesses can remain open, but restaurants would be limited to a max of 4 people per table
  • Schools are open, but schools must test 20% of their students and staff weekly, or go 100% virtual.

If cases continued to rise in spite of these restrictions, a designation of Orange or Red is possible, which would further shut down the area.

Experts have expressed concern over the need for people to celebrate Thanksgiving with caution, and limit travel.

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household.
  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others.
  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family,
  • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday.
  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home.