Friday, September 16, 2022

About This Week's COVID Spike

Since Monday, the Columbia County Department of Health has reported 152 new cases of COVID-19--a number that makes us all a little uneasy. A press release received today from Matt Murell, chair of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, provides some insight into what's going on.
An outbreak at The Grand Rehabilitation & Nursing/Barnwell facility in Valatie and also likely the Columbia County Fair has caused an uptick in new positive COVID-19 cases this week, Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said today. 
“There have been 40 cases reported so far at Barnwell among the residents, along with 12 staff,” he said. “I think this is likely driven by the very contagious Omicron and BA.5 variants of the virus that have worked their way into the facility. Barnwell has been moving the positive cases into a separate wing and have been dealing with this in a positive fashion.” 
Positive COVID-19 cases overall rose this week, with 141 positive cases reported, bringing to 268 new cases thus far in September. The number of county residents in the hospital is now at 12, with two people in the ICU. There were 113 vaccinated at Thursday’s COVID-19 POD at the A.B. Shaw Firehouse in Claverack. Director Mabb said there is now a backlog of the Moderna vaccine, creating the likelihood that county DOH will be unable to make that vaccine available for the immediate future. 
To this point, Director Mabb said his department has vaccinated 179 with the monkeypox vaccine, counting first and second doses. 
As of Monday, per the CDC, Columbia County’s rate of new COVID-19 cases remained in the low risk category. On Thursday, the CDC-reported current average of new daily cases per 100,000 of population stood at 22. The positive test rate is 17.9 percent. 
Although New York State has lifted the mandate for mask wearing while inside a business, local health care officials continue to encourage the wearing of masks while indoors, particularly for those with health problems.

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