3 deaths push Greene COVID toll to 129

File PhotoGreene County confirmed three deaths related to COVID-19 on April 29, the highest one-day total in the county in five months.

CATSKILL — Greene County confirmed three new deaths related to COVID-19 on April 29, representing the highest one-day total in the county since three deaths were recorded on Nov. 29.

On April 28, the county recorded its 126th death tied to COVID, as an unidentified male in his mid-90s died. The man was vaccinated at the time of his death but also had underlying issues.

On Friday, the county announced three additional deaths related to the virus, with a trio of unidentified men passing away in the hospital due to COVID-related illness. Two of the men were in their mid-80s, with one man in his mid-70s at the time of his death. All three had received at least two COVID vaccine shots at the time of their death.

The latest round of virus deaths continued a trend in the county that has seen COVID claim the lives of mainly elderly residents.

“I think the issue is are they passing away because of COVID or are they passing away with COVID?” Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden asked on Monday. “I don’t know if we’ll ever know that. I think that the death certificates are going to read COVID, but with advanced age and the comorbidities, that does meet the pattern we’ve seen of the elderly deaths.”

On Monday, Greene County Public Health announced that the county has 72 active positive cases, down 52 from the agency’s last update three days earlier.

The county has recorded a total of 10,900 COVID cases since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

“We’ve dealt with this for almost three years now,” Greene County Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger, R-New Baltimore, said Monday. “I’m not sure at what point they call this an endemic and realize that people are going to die, just like they do with the flu and other illnesses.”

While the county has recorded five COVID deaths in the last seven days, the number of residents hospitalized due to COVID-related illnesses stood at 11 as of Monday.

“That’s the metric now that we’re all focusing on as this thing mutates,” Groden said. “Is it becoming less severe and therefore we’re not getting the same hospitalizations? My concern would still be about those nursing home facilities with the confined quarters. There’s susceptibility not only because they’re frail but because of the density of the living conditions.”

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the community level of the virus is deemed low in Greene County.

As of April 30, the percentage of COVID tests in Greene that returned positive results stood at 7.7%, with a seven-day rolling positive rate of 9.3% in the county.

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