The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today, and the news is mostly bad--stunningly bad. Since yesterday, there has been another death from COVID-19 and 188 new cases. The number of active cases being reported today is 33 fewer than yesterday, from which it can be inferred that, since yesterday, 220 county residents have recovered from the virus. There are 15 more county residents in mandatory quarantine today than yesterday, and 6 fewer are hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, 1 more is in the ICU.
In a press release from Board of Supervisors chair Matt Murell today, it was announced that the CCDOH plans to discontinue contact tracing:
As of Monday, January 10, the Columbia County Department of Health will dramatically cut back on the amount of contact tracing it is doing with COVID-19 cases. This comes as a recommendation from the NYS Health Department as a result of the dramatic spike in positive cases. Those who have newly tested positive will continue to be contacted by county DOH.
“Contact tracing is the most time consuming part of the work we do during our case investigations,” said DOH Director Jack Mabb, “and people have become increasingly unwilling to tell us their family, work and social contacts. It rendered the time spent tracing unproductive. Concentrating on contacting the positives is the most productive thing we can do. The department will still be doing contact tracing when there is a positive case in a congregate setting such as a nursing home.”
The New York Forward dashboard is reporting a positivity rate for Columbia County today of 17.5 percent and a seven-day average of 18.9 percent. By comparison, the daily positivity rate for the Capital Region yesterday was 20.1 percent and the seven-day average was 18.9 percent.
A year ago today, the CCDOH reported 77 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases was 2,010, and the number of active cases was 386. There were 329 county residents in mandatory quarantine, 23 were hospitalized, and 1 was in the ICU. The total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 at this time last year was 51.