The following press release from Columbia County Board of Supervisors chair Matt Murell provides an explanation for the high number of new cases of COVID-19 reported by the Department of Health today.
Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said today that the Columbia County Department of Health is reporting a significant outbreak of COVID-19 cases at The Grand Rehabilitation & Nursing/Barnwell facility in Valatie.As of Wednesday, January 11, 95 residents and 37 staff had tested positive for the virus, according to information provided by the home.County Public Health Director Jack Mabb said the earlier cases among staff go back to January 1, suggesting the virus may have been introduced into the home by a worker. The earlier cases among residents occurred on January 3.“Looking at the date of testing for residents and staff, you can see that this outbreak was pretty contained early on but just exploded among residents in the last few days,” said Director Mabb. He added that congregate facilities, such as nursing homes, are perfect places for this kind of rapid spread.
Of the 95 positive residents, 14 are unvaccinated, having refused the vaccine, said Mabb. As of today, three residents are hospitalized, with two out of the three unvaccinated. None are currently in intensive care.