Three additional COVID deaths over the weekend were reported Thursday by the Greene County Public Health Department.
This brings the total number of COVID-related deaths in Greene County to 52 since the pandemic started in mid-March.
The public health department reported 28 COVID-related deaths through Dec. 31, and an additional 24 deaths in the first two weeks of January, or about 46.1% of all coronavirus deaths in Greene County.
The Columbia County Department of Health has reported 54 COVID-related deaths. There were 49 virus deaths in the county as of Dec. 31, with three deaths so far this year.
The Columbia County building at 560 Warren St. in Hudson was closed Friday because of a possible COVID-19 exposure.
The County Clerk’s Office, Department of Motor Vehicles and Real Property Departments were closed Friday and will reopen Tuesday for their regular business hours following the Martin Luther King. Jr. holiday Monday.
The building will reopen after it has been thoroughly cleaned by facilities department staff, Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in a statement.
Building employees were directed to work from home, according to the county website.
Numbers of positive COVID cases in the Twin Counties have been rapidly increasing over the past several weeks, according to data from the health departments in Columbia and Greene counties.
The Columbia County Department of Health reported 2,349 positive COVID cases since the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March. From Dec. 14 to Jan. 14, 1,168, or 49.7%, of all cases in the county have been reported in the past month.
“Clearly, the post-New Year’s Eve numbers haven’t started to come down. Clearly, it’s well spread out in the community,” said Jack Mabb, director of the Columbia County Department of Health. “I do expect that the numbers will come down a little bit when we get further away from New Year’s, but I don’t expect them to drop that much because I do think there is a substantial community spread now.”
The Greene County Public Health Department has reported 1,858 positive COVID cases since the beginning of the pandemic. From Dec. 14 to Jan. 14, the department reported 968 of those cases, or about 52% of all of the positive cases Greene County has had since the beginning of the pandemic have been reported in the past month.
The Columbia County Department of Health reported Thursday afternoon there are 341 active positive COVID-19 cases in the county. There are 26 people hospitalized because of the virus, and two of those individuals are in the intensive care unit. There are 720 county residents in mandatory quarantine.
The Greene County Public Health Department reported Thursday afternoon there are 331 active COVID cases in the county, with 30 people hospitalized and 501 in quarantine.
The seven-day rolling average percent of positive tests is 7.8% in Columbia County and 9.4% in Greene County. The 14-day rolling average percent of positive tests is 7.7% in Columbia and 10.5% in Greene.
COVID-19 vaccinations are being administered to eligible individuals in the Twin Counties. The state receives its vaccine doses weekly from the federal government, according to the New York state COVID vaccine website. New York is allotted 300,000 doses of the COVID vaccine each week.
“This is a huge endeavor that none of us have been through before,” Mabb said. “There’s so many moving parts for the state that they are having a hard time getting a handle on a smooth distribution. It’s better that they are having a hard time now when there’s limited supply than there would be if there was plenty of vaccine and they just continued to have problems pushing it out. I’m hopeful that they can work out their kinks and that we can really hit our stride when a lot of vaccine becomes available.”
The state on Monday began allowing individuals in the 1B category to be eligible to receive the COVID vaccine. People eligible for the vaccine now include those older than 65, first responders, hospital workers, EMS workers, preschool to 12th-grade staff, school district employees, in-person college staff, childcare providers, individuals living or working in homeless shelters and grocery store workers, among others, as well as people who were previously eligible in the 1A category such as health care workers, nursing home residents and staff.
The Greene County Public Health Department announced Thursday individuals in the 1B group would not be vaccinated until everyone in the 1A category had been inoculated.
“Despite what the NYSDOH (New York State Department of Health) site has stated, Greene County does not have the supply for the 1B tier at this time and must complete 1A before proceeding,” according to the announcement. “Anyone in the 65 and over group has been instructed that they will be receiving this vaccine through their local pharmacy when the supply becomes available.”
The state’s COVID vaccine webpage reports there are about 7 million people now eligible to be inoculated.