HUDSON — Ten COVID-19 deaths in Greene County and one in Columbia County were reported this week in the Twin Counties amid a rising surge of positive virus cases.
About half of all positive COVID cases in the Twin Counties have been reported in the past month.
The seven-day rolling average of positive COVID tests in Columbia County is 7.3% as of Jan. 10 and the 14-day rolling average is 7.5%, according to the state COVID testing dashboard.
In Greene County, the seven-day rolling average of positive COVID tests is 10.6% and the 14-day rolling average is 11.2%.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Greene County Public Health Department announced 11 new COVID-related deaths reported in the past two days. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Greene County has reported 49 deaths from the virus. On Aug. 31, the Public Health Department reported 19 COVID-related deaths from the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March and there were no virus deaths in September and October in the county. Three deaths were reported in November and December each.
January has seen 21 COVID-related deaths in Greene County as of Monday.
The Columbia County Department of Health announced Monday one more COVID-related death. Monday’s death is the 54th virus death in the county and the fifth since the beginning of the year. During the spring, the county had 38 COVID-related deaths from the beginning of the pandemic to June 9.
Over the summer, the Department of Health did not report any additional COVID-related deaths until Oct. 14. Columbia County had five COVID deaths in October, four in November, three in December and as of Jan. 11, there have been five virus deaths so far since the beginning of the year.
The Columbia County Department of Health has reported 2,217 positive COVID cases since the beginning of the pandemic. The department has reported 1,087 of those cases between Dec. 11 and Jan. 11, with about 49% of all of the county’s positive COVID cases occurring in the past month. Over the past week, from Jan. 4 to Jan. 11, the Department of Health has reported 443 new positive cases, or about 19.9% of all positive COVID cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Greene County Public Health Department has reported 1,757 positive COVID cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Between Dec. 11 and Jan. 11, the department reported 903 new positive cases, with about 51.3% of all cases reported in the past month. Over the past week, from Jan. 4 to Jan. 11. the Public Health Department has reported 258 new COVID cases, or about 14.6% of all positive cases in the county were reported over the past week.
There are currently 312 active positive cases of COVID-19 in Columbia County, according to the Department of Health, and 27 county residents are hospitalized because of COVID-19, including one person in the intensive care unit. There are 421 county residents in mandatory quarantine.
The Greene County Public Health Department reports 358 active cases in Greene County, 27 people hospitalized due to the virus and 437 people in quarantine.
Amid the rising surge of positive cases, Columbia County once again renewed its declared state of emergency Monday. The previous order had been set to expire Jan. 13. An announcement from the Columbia County Board of Supervisors states the new declared state of emergency will last until Feb. 11 unless it is rescinded or otherwise modified.
“I don’t see it ending anytime soon,” Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said, “but I do expect our daily numbers to start dropping as we get farther away from New Year’s. I think what’s happened is it’s gotten a pretty good hold in the community. We’ll probably still see daily cases in the high 20s and 30s.”
The COVID-19 vaccine is rolling out slower than originally anticipated because of the limited quantities that are being given to county Health Department, Mabb said.
The county initially requested 500 weekly doses of the vaccine and has been allotted 300 each week, Mabb said. The governor announced Monday the state would be holding vaccine clinics at State University of new York campuses around the state.
“The Health Department is ready and we are vaccinating people,” Mabb said. “I think to some degree, the manner in which this came out from Albany made local health departments look ill prepared. We’re not ill-prepared, we’re poorly equipped in that we don’t have the vaccine. Give us the vaccine and we can get to a lot of people in a short amount of time. People in [group] 1B need to be patient because unless we get more of the vaccine, it’s going to take us a long time to get through this category.”