COVID deadlier in 2021 than 2020

File photo A set of COVID vaccination syringes. Columbia County changed its vaccine protocol after a woman was found to have lied about an inoculation.

HUDSON — Columbia County has reported a 99th person has died of COVID in the county.

The Columbia County Department of Health reported a 99th county resident has died from COVID on Tuesday.

“The number of cases this weekend is the highest we’ve had since our highs this past winter,” Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said. “I think that’s a function of people doing their summer get-togethers and the contagiousness of the Delta variant.”

The latest death was a woman under 60-years-old who had not been vaccinated Mabb said.

The department of health reported 41 new positive COVID-19 cases between Saturday, Sunday Monday and Tuesday.

The latest COVID death brings the total number of COVID-related deaths in Columbia County to 99 since the beginning of the pandemic, now a majority of the COVID-related deaths in the county have occurred in 2021. Columbia County Department of Health reported 49 COVID-related deaths in 2020, and there have now been 50 COVID-related deaths so far in 2021.

“It’s also the case that the majority of the positives are still among the unvaccinated,” Mabb said.

Breakthrough cases, positive cases that are found in individuals who have been fully-vaccinated account for about 25% of the COVID cases in Columbia County, Mabb said. Those breakthrough cases are often individuals who were tested not because they themselves were symptomatic, but because they had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive, or they were someone who is regularly tested for work.

As of Wednesday morning there are nine Columbia County residents who are hospitalized because of the virus, one of those people were vaccinated, the other eight were not vaccinated.

Columbia County saw its first COVID-related death in March 2020. Over this past winter the county saw a number of COVID-related deaths, in Dec. 2020 there was 3 COVID-related deaths, in Jan 2021, 22 Columbia County residents died in relation to COVID-19, in Feb. 2021 15 county residents died. Throughout much of the spring the county saw a decline in the number of COVID-related deaths. In March 2021 the department of health reported four COVID-related deaths, they reported three in April and three occurred in May. The majority of this summer Columbia County had almost no COVID-related deaths. There were zero COVID-deaths in June and July, there was one death in August. Including the latest death, there have been two COVID-related deaths in September as of Wednesday morning.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID Date Tracker reports 78.3% of Columbia County residents over the age of 18 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Mabb noted the high number of county residents who are vaccinated, saying he remains optimistic the numbers will not soar to last year’s and upcoming booster shots will help tame the virus.

The CDC’s Community Transmission map tracks the level of community transmission in each county, as of Wednesday morning all 62 counties in the state, including Columbia County are now considered to be at a high level of community transmission.

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