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Sigh of Relief for Most Residents as Air Quality Improves

Jan 07, 2024

Local air quality is improving, bringing relief to many residents after two days of pungent smoke from wildfires burning in Canada. However, the air quality advisory issued by the New York State departments of Health (NYSDOH) and Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) earlier this week remains in effect.

The Oswego County Health Department advises residents to continue monitoring air quality and following safety precautions as necessary.

Those with underlying medical conditions, such as asthma, COPD and heart disease, should continue to watch out for symptoms as they are more sensitive to air pollutants. Exposure to elevated levels of fine particulate matter can cause short-term health effects such as irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath.

Most people can resume their regular activities; however, those with heart and lung disease, older adults, children and teens should continue to take extra precautions and limit strenuous outdoor physical activities.

Residents may also want to consider wearing an KN-95 mask to help filter out smoke and ash particles from the air, keeping windows and doors closed to protect indoor air quality and using air purifiers or air conditioners with high efficiency filtration if available.

Health department staff are delivering KN-95 masks to local municipal offices this week. Residents can call their town or village clerk to find out if they have them available.

People can also pick up masks at the health department, located at 70 Bunner St., Oswego. Come to the main entrance (Entrance B) on the west side of the building between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. There is a mask limit of two per person.

Residents can continue to monitor Oswego County's air quality status at

June 8, 2023