Steuben County officials hold a COVID press conference as cases rise and the holidays are here

Local News

STEUBEN COUNTY, NY (WETM) – Local counties seeing active COVID case numbers nearing 500, and officials say they only expect them to rise.

“We’re at a point unfortunately like we were last January,” said Steuben County Manager, Jack Wheeler.

During the pandemic, Steuben County used to hold COVID press conferences quite frequently. Now that cases are, once again, rising to concerning rates, Steuben County officials called a meeting with the media.

Their current data can be found at the Steuben County COVID-19 Dashboard

Wheeler says emergency rooms at their hospitals are near or at full capacity.

“We are seeing an alarming increase in the number of hospitalizations… and the pressure on the hospitals… it’s something that is frankly not sustainable if cases keep increasing,” said Wheeler.

Officials also highlighted, how to be safe during the holidays. Steuben County Public Health Director, Darlene Smith, listed a few tips such as; knowing who is and who isn’t vaccinated at the Thanksgiving table, knowing how others go about their daily lives, taking after-dinner activities outside, like a football game in the front yard…

“Whenever you can be outside versus inside, that is a much safer place to be… And again it is never too late to vaccinate,” said Smith.

Despite the rise in cases, the county is not thinking of instating any restrictions.

“Restrictions would have to come from the state… I do not envision a local mask mandate here in Steuben County,” said Wheeler.

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