The following is quoted from the press release issued today by Matt Murell, chair of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors:
COVID-related hospitalizations have hit their lowest level in the county this year, Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said today. Four individuals are currently in area hospitals, with three of the four seriously ill enough to be in the ICU. One person is on a ventilator.
COVID-19 new positive cases, which hit their highest weekly totals this summer with last week’s 152, have dropped back slightly to 129. Director Mabb added that the recent outbreak at The Grand Rehabilitation & Nursing/Barnwell facility in Valatie is still partially fueling the jump in new cases. As of this morning, 47 residents had tested positive, in addition to 13 staff.
“I think it’s reasonable to say at this point that the higher-than-expected positive cases we’ve had over the summer months will continue on into the fall and likely increase with all of us moving inside more,” added Director Mabb. “I just hope this downward trend in hospitalizations continues. Perhaps this is confirmation of what we have been told by the CDC and others that the variants we’re seeing now may be more contagious but less virulent.”
County DOH reported that 57 individuals came to A.B. Shaw fire department on Thursday for COVID-19 booster vaccines. Director Mabb called this a good number, since the county currently can offer only the Pfizer bivalent vaccine. The department was able to order Moderna vaccines this week, after the company had experienced a backlog in vaccines in recent weeks.
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 17.4. The positive test rate is 14.7 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.