COVID spike highest in months

COVID numbers continue to grow in Columbia County.

HUDSON — Columbia County is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 numbers it has not seen since last January.

The Columbia County Department of Health confirmed 49 new positive cases between Sunday and Monday morning, 33 new cases Saturday and 50 new cases Friday. They are some of the highest numbers the county has seen in months, Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said.

“It’s obviously not just Columbia County, it’s the whole region,” Mabb said. “We’re just seeing this dramatic, huge spike.”

The increase in cases is due in part to the colder weather bringing people inside Mabb said, another factor he explained is the increase in positive students.

A large portion of the new positive cases in the county are from students, Mabb said. Fourteen of the 75 cases this weekend were children, or about 18.6% of the county’s cases are being found in children, which differs from the COVID spike the county saw in January when fewer children were testing positive.

“A significant portion of these positives are students,” Mabb said. “We’re seeing more positive students this year than we did last year. I think it’s about the Delta variant and about how contagious it is.”

January 2021 was the deadliest month the county has seen in the pandemic. The Department of Health reported 22 COVID-related deaths in the month. Until this past weekend, the Department of health had not reported 50 new daily cases since January. “In January this year we had over 1,400 cases,” Mabb said. “If you think about it, that works out to 30 or 40 cases a day. And it steadily declined there, now it’s been climbing up, we’re not going to see 1,400 cases this month. Last week was the worst week we’ve had in a long time, the very worst.”

This past week, Nov 16-22, the Department of Health reported a total of 224 new positive cases. So far this November, the county has had a total of 387 new positive cases as of Monday.

The numbers are likely going to get worse with the upcoming holidays, Mabb said.

“It’s only going to get worse with the holidays in general,” Mabb said. “I think a lot of people have just thrown caution to the wind, and they’re just doing their thing. Thanksgiving for many people will be a holiday in which there’s no social distancing and certainly you don’t expect people to wear a mask in their own home or their living room when they’re welcoming their family, but I do think people who view themselves as particularly vulnerable should probably think about those things.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots to all adults 18-and-older on Friday. Columbia County is holding upcoming booster shot pods at Columbia-Greene Community College on Thursday Dec. 2 from 3-6p.m., Friday Dec. 3 from 1-3 p.m. and Friday Dec. 10 from 1-3p.m. Registration for these booster pods is available on the Columbia County Department of Health website. Mabb explained all of the different brands of boosters will be available at each of the pods. Anyone 18-and-older who received completed their series of Moderna or Pfizer at least six months ago and for those who received a Johnson&Johnson at least two months ago.

The Department of Health will hold a student pod for children 5 to 11 years old Nov. 29 from 3-6 p.m. at the Claverack Fire Department – A.B. Shaw, registration for this pod is also available through the Columbia County Department of Health website.

“I think we’re going to have to continue to try and get people vaccinated, and push for the boosters and see if we can do the best we can with what’s out there,” Mabb said.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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