Omicron powers Greene COVID surge

Members of the public receive vaccinations on a vaccination bus at West College Scotland Clydebank Campus on Dec. 17, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. The omicron variant, a far more contagious but less severe coronavirus, is driving a surge in the number of positive cases in Greene County, officials say.

CATSKILL — Greene County is nearing 1,000 active COVID-19 cases as the omicron variant continues to drive a surge in cases.

Greene County Public Health announced Wednesday that the county currently has 984 active COVID cases, with 192 new positives recorded in the prior 24 hours.

On Dec. 1, the county had 283 active cases, a number that has more than tripled in a month’s time.

The county has recorded a total of 6,865 positive cases since the pandemic began in March 2020.

On Tuesday, 18.9% of COVID tests conducted in the county came back positive, with the county seeing a seven-day rolling positive rate of 15.9%. County Public Health noted that with limited testing capabilities, the number of positive cases does not fully reflect the current levels of COVID spread in the county.

Greene County conducted 128 tests Monday at a county-led clinic in Coxsackie and returned 42 positive COVID results among that batch.

“Of the 42 positives, 28 of those were previously vaccinated people,” Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said. “But when they filled out their paperwork, every one of them said that their symptoms were mild to nearly nothing. They had slight sore throats and that type of stuff. So again it just tells me that if you get vaccinated and you do get positive, it’s going to be easier than winding up in the hospital.”

Groden said that the mild symptoms experienced by vaccinated residents who tested positive shows the importance of getting vaccinated.

“It just underlines the message about getting vaxxed,” he said. “Because if you don’t you’re going to get sick.”

Twenty-six Greene County residents are hospitalized with COVID-related illnesses, while 395 residents are under quarantine orders.

The county is running testing sites on Mondays and Wednesdays at 370 Mansion St. in Coxsackie and a Moderna booster clinic will be held Thursday at the New Baltimore Fire House from 10 a.m. until noon.

The booster clinic is available to anyone who has received both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines prior to July 6, 2021, or their single dose of Johnson and Johnson prior to Sept. 6, 2021.

Appointments are required and residents must bring their vaccination card to the appointment.

The county will also be holding a first-dose vaccination clinic in Hunter at the Fellow Mountain Cafe at 7883 Main St., on Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. until noon.

The clinic is available to anyone age 18 and up who wishes to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments to the Hunter clinic are required.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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