SULLIVAN COUNTY – According to Sullivan County Public Health Services, they received 85 new COVID-19 positive test results on Tuesday, bringing the total active infections in Sullivan County to …
SULLIVAN COUNTY – According to Sullivan County Public Health Services, they received 85 new COVID-19 positive test results on Tuesday, bringing the total active infections in Sullivan County to 332, and 679 in Quarantine (see COVID box for most up- to-date information). Public Health said that was the highest number of positive tests in a single day, possibly since the pandemic began in 2020.
Public Health said that over the past week there have been an average of 40-50 new cases per day. They further stated that COVID-19 cases have been wide spread and are not isolated to any specific facilities or locations.
“The cases are climbing,” said Public Health Director Nancy McGraw in a video on the County’s YouTube page. “We expect that to continue as the weather gets colder and people go indoors. We heard some of this last year. We expected this to be over by now. But unfortunately, we still have a ways to go to get more and more people vaccinated before we can really get through the other end of that.
“We really want to stress that it is safe if you’re fully vaccinated,” she continued, “and especially if you have a booster. Please do that if you haven’t gotten a booster. It’s recommended now for anybody 18 and older.”
A list of upcoming Public Health vaccine clinics can be found on the County’s website or you can call them at 845-292-5910 during business hours (9 a.m.- 5 p.m.) for more information.
Some other points in McGraw’s update were that hospitalizations are going back up again. She said on Tuesday they were up to about nine or 10. The good news, she added, is that there haven’t been a whole lot of people on ventilators.
The positivity rate in Sullivan County, on the seven-day average, is about 8.4 percent, according to McGraw.
“That’s pretty high,” she said. “We want to see that five percent or below, and it’s very high compared to surrounding counties. We want to make sure that we’re able to keep things open and continue business as usual.”
There has been a lot of attention worldwide regarding the new Omicron variant. McGraw addressed it during Tuesday’s update.
McGraw said there is a lot that they don’t know about the variant, and that the World Health Organization, CDC and NYS Department of Health are on alert and looking for the Omicron variant which is one of about 30 different variants that have been identified thus far.
“The thing we want to keep an eye on is how well our vaccines work in terms of efficacy against the variants and the new viruses as a result of mutation,” said McGraw.
She said the Omicron variant was recently detected in Canada and that it’s only a matter of time before it’s detected in New York State, and even in Sullivan County. However she added there’s no reason for panic, but there is reason for concern as they watch to see how the variant behaves.
McGraw said that right now, the Omicron variant is highly transmissible in South Africa, but it doesn’t seem to be making people as sick as the original SARS-CoV-2 virus or the Delta variant, adding that she wanted to be reassuring in that manner, but also watchful.
“Bottom line is, it’s the same message, get vaccinated, get those that you love vaccinated, wear a mask indoors especially, socially distance and wash your hands,” said McGraw. “We can’t forget that one. These are the tools that will continue to protect us.”
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