COVID numbers hold steady in Twin Counties

Testing for COVID-19 in June at Columbia-Greene Community College. Infection rates in Columbia and Greene counties are holding steady, health and government leaders said Wednesday. File photo

Columbia and Greene counties continue to hold steady with a low number of COVID-19 cases, according to health officials.

The number of active COVID cases in Columbia County is improving slightly, as of Monday.

There are four active cases in the county, according to the Columbia County Department of Health, representing an improvement on the 10 active cases the county had last week and the 13 active cases the county had July 24.

Columbia County has had 534 total cases to date, which is up slightly from the 528 total cases last week. One month ago, the Columbia County Health Department reported 47 active cases.

Columbia County has had 37 COVID-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. The number of deaths in the county linked to COVID-19 has not increased since June, according to the Department of Health.

“I think that the people in Columbia County are doing an excellent job,” said Jack Mabb, director of the Columbia County Department of Health. “They’re wearing their masks and socially distancing. We haven’t had a deep communitywide spread like some other communities have had.”

Columbia County has conducted nearly 30,000 COVID tests. Mabb said there many people who have been tested more than once, and that the actual number of people who have been tested is lower.

The Health Department offers walk-up and drive-thru testing. A schedule and preregistration form are available on the county’s Department of Health website.

Greene County has carried out more than 13,000 tests for COVID-19 as of Tuesday. There have been 307 cases in the county, according to the Department of Health, reflecting an increase of seven positive tests from the 300 cases the county had last week. One month ago the county had 276 total cases since the start of the outbreak.

Greene County has eight active cases, one more than the county had last week. One month ago the county had four active cases of COVID-19.

Greene County has had a total of 18 COVID-related deaths. There have not been any new COVID-related deaths in the county since May.

“We’ve kept a relatively low number of active cases from the beginning,” Greene County Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger, R-New Baltimore, said. “I think that tells a lot about how people were actually behaving and doing what they are supposed to do.”

The county has consistently had single-digit or near single-digit numbers of active COVID cases, Linger said, which he attributes to people’s adherence to guidelines such as mask wearing and social distancing.

Greene County Public Health offers free COVID testing on Wednesday evenings each week.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced the state has gone 18 days with the rate of positive COVID tests at less than 1% of the total tested.

New York state llowed gyms and fitness centers to begin reopening this week, and many school districts in Columbia and Greene counties, with safety in mind, are preparing for the start of the fall semester.

Columbia and Greene counties post regular COVID updates to their Department of Health websites and Facebook pages.

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