PHILMONT — Columbia County has 13 positive COVID-19 cases at Pine Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and two cases at the Ichabod Crane Primary School.
Six positive COVID cases were reported Friday by the Department of Health at Pine Haven. Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said Monday the total is up to 10 residents and three staff members at the facility.
“All of the residents were vaccinated and none of them are seriously ill at this point,” Mabb said.
The majority of the individuals testing positive were asymptomatic and were found to be positive during routine mandatory tests performed at the facility, Mabb said.
The individuals testing positive were not scattered throughout the facility, Mabb said. It was Mabb’s understanding they were concentrated in certain areas of the facility.
Pine Haven officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
“Pine Haven is very responsive, Mabb said. “They call us back, they talk to us on a regular basis and they are very aggressive about getting people tested.”
Mabb said in the department’s communications with Pine Haven there has been some interest expressed in the possibility of using the antibody treatment for some of the positive individuals.
Typically residents at nursing homes are not going out into the community, Mabb said. In nursing homes it is usually brought in by staff or people making deliveries, he added.
The vaccination rate for residents in nursing homes and assisted care facilities is high across the state, Mabb said. He did not know exact percentages of staff members at the facility were vaccinated, but that vaccination rates among health care providers throughout the state are low.
A student and one staff member at the Ichabod Crane Primary School have tested positive for COVID-19. The teacher will start remote instruction for that class beginning Tuesday, Ichabod Crane Superintendent Suzanne Guntlow said. She said most of their classrooms have about 20 students in them.
“We made the decision to quarantine the class just to give them time to make sure there’s no further spread within that one room,” Guntlow said.
The district used contract tracing to determine if anyone else may have been in close contact with the student and staff member. Guntlow said that resulted in some students who had taken the bus to school also being quarantined. The district also quarantined any siblings of a student testing positive.
The student is under 12, which is too young to be eligible to receive the vaccine. Guntlow said the staff member had been vaccinated.
“They’re not asymptomatic, but they are manageable,” Guntlow said. “They are doing well.”
The district is continuing to follow the updated guidelines to keep everyone safe as possible, Guntlow said.
“It does seem that this variant, like they’ve been saying, it does seem to spread to children more readily,” Guntlow said. “Last year we didn’t see this many cases the first week of school. Everything we’ve been hearing is that it’s more contagious and children do catch it. Based on the first week of school that seems to be the case.” The district is closely monitoring the situation, Guntlow said.
“We always err on the side of caution,” Guntlow said. “We want to prevent the spread wherever we can.”