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Officials warn Ontario County residents to avoid holiday gatherings, take COVID-19 seriously

Health officials in Ontario County are asking for the public to avoid gatherings this Christmas as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

Earlier this week Ontario County recorded its most-significant number of cases to date.

“We are in a very urgent phase of the pandemic here, and people need to adjust their behavior,” Public Health Director Mary Beer told the Finger Lakes Times. “Unfortunately, too many people are operating under a false sense of security that they will not contract or spread the virus.”

The County reported more than 860 cases in the first two weeks of December, totaling more than all of the cases observed in October and November combined.

Governor Andrew Cuomo warned the Finger Lakes earlier this week that it could be dealing with a shutdown if hospitalizations do not stabilize. It was also recently reported that ICU bed access is getting lesser in Ontario County.

Thompson Hospital reported 98% ICU bed capacity.

“Residents must take this very seriously, as they are the ones in control of whether or not we enter any of these cluster zones,” Deputy County Administrator Brian Young told the Times.