The Columbia County Department of Health has not reported the number of new COVID cases since Monday, but today, Matt Murell, chair of the Board of Supervisors, issued this press release.
MAJOR ONE-DAY SPIKE HITS COUNTY
In the largest one-day spike since the pandemic began, 22 new COVID-19 positive cases have been reported in Columbia County, said county Department of Health Director Jack Mabb on Wednesday.
Two new cases were reported at Ghent Assisted Living, Ghent, and one from The Grand at Barnwell, Valatie, with the remainder of new cases among the community. In addition, another resident of Ghent Assisted Living has died. Overall, in the county there have been six deaths from COVID-19 in less than three weeks.
Currently, with 77 active cases, 368 county residents are under mandatory quarantine. As of Wednesday, 25 were hospitalized, with two individuals on ventilators and one in ICU.
"Over the summer and until recently, there was a lot of talk about what the colder weather might mean in terms of community spread in regard to this virus," said Director Mabb. "Well, we have it here now. It's an exponential thing. All it takes is a handful of positive individuals who have a lot of contacts and who are good spreaders, and then we have the community spread like we have now."
Added county Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell, "I think people let their guard down during the nicer weather. People saw that a majority of the cases recovered and hospitalization rates went down, but now all you have to do is look at the hospitalization rate, how many are in ICU, and the rate of deaths to know that the virus is as contagious and deadly as it's ever been."
"I'm very concerned what we might see in terms of new cases from Election Day activity and Thanksgiving," said Chairman Murell. "If things continue at this rate, the hospital will be filled with COVID-19 patients and we may well wind up where we were back in the spring as far as state-mandated restrictions are concerned."
"If people think they were being careful before about wearing a mask, social distancing, and hand washing, they need to do better now," said Director Mabb. "Think about what you're doing, about the position you are putting family and friends in by not being careful and not doing the right things."