JEFFERSON COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Jefferson County officials continue the effort to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Daily test numbers are beginning to increase following the opening of a free testing site in Watertown.

The seven-day positivity rate currently stands at 9.3% for the county, a slight decrease from earlier this week. The number of hospitalizations remains at 26 and there are no new deaths to report in the latest update from Jefferson County Public Health. Recoveries have increased by 108 and mandatory isolations have decreased by 53.

Jefferson County declared a state of emergency on December 8 that will last for at least one month.

Aside from wearing face masks in public spaces, officials and public health leaders are urging residents to get all doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, use proper hygiene, social distance, avoid large gatherings and remain home when sick.

Governor Hochul announced a mask mandate for New Yorkers on Friday in response to rising COVID-19 rates statewide. As part of the mandate, masks are required in all indoor public places unless businesses and venues implement a vaccine requirement.

The mandate is effective beginning on December 13 and will remain in place until at least January 15, 2022. The state will re-evaluate the need for the mandate based on conditions at that time.