County reports record 158 new cases in single day

The number of new cases each month in Columbia County in 2021.

HUDSON — Columbia County had another record-breaking day for COVID-19 statistics with 158 new cases Thursday morning.

Thursday’s record number of cases surpassed the previous single-day mark set Monday when 126 cases were reported by the Columbia County Department of Health.

“We did have that day last week where we hit 142 but that was for two days,” Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said. “The good news is that hospitalizations stand at 23 with only two people in the ICU.”

The two individuals in the intensive care unit are both unvaccinated, Mabb said.

Columbia County broke through another COVID-19 threshold as the 158 cases reported Thursday pushed the number the county has had since the beginning of the pandemic past 8,000.

“I do think that this spike will die down,” Mabb said. “We are just five days out from New Year’s Eve. So we should see numbers like this for the next few days.”

The first positive COVID-19 cases were reported March 20, 2020. In recent months the county has seen a uptick in the numbers of new cases.

The county reached its first 1,000 COVID-19 cases on Dec. 2, 2020, about eight-and-a-half months after the first positive was reported. A month later, on Jan 7, 2021, the total number of cases doubled to 2,000.

Twenty-one days later the county reached 3,000 cases, and about three months after that the county stood at 4,000 cases on April 15, 2021.

Reports of COVID cases slowed during the summer months of 2021. The county did not reach 5,000 cases until five months later on Sept. 25, 2021.

Two months later, on Nov. 27, the county reported another 1,000 cases, bringing the total to 6,000. On Dec. 23, the county hit the 7,000 benchmark.

It has been about two weeks since then and Columbia County has counted 8,103 positive cases as of midday Thursday.

The number of cases reported so far in January 2022 in the county is 497. As of Thursday, that total is higher than the combined number of positive cases the county saw for the full months of May, June, July and August last summer.

School districts in the county went back to business Monday after the winter break. On Tuesday, the Germantown Central School District sent a letter to families informing them that due to the number of high school staff needing to quarantine as a result of COVID-19, all 11th and 12th grade students would be remote for the rest of the week. All athletic and extracurricular activities would continue as scheduled, according to the letter.

“Please know that this decision was not made lightly,” Germantown School Superintendent Benjamin Bragg wrote. “Thank you for your understanding behind this decision as we navigate the influx of cases in the area.”

Germantown was the only school district among the six in the county to go partly remote this week, Mabb said.

“The only school that has done anything with remote is Germantown for two grades because they didn’t have the staff to support in-person learning,” Mabb said.

In Greene County, the Catskill Central School District switched its high school over to remote learning, which began Thursday, and is scheduled to go through next week.

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