- Rich Klein
NEW COVID CASES IN COUNTY CONTINUE AT HIGH LEVELS
Between last Saturday, December 11 and Friday, December 17, Sullivan County recorded a total of 412 new cases of COVID-19, according to data released by Governor Kathy Hochul and compiled by The SullivanTimes.
The number of positives test results increased vastly beginning on Tuesday with 76 cases, Wednesday (86) Thursday (67) and Friday (71).
One resident died sometime on Friday, according to the state, which would bring the total number of coronavirus deaths to 101 since the pandemic began.
Three Sullivan residents died earlier this week that were due to COVID.
Meanwhile, Sullivan County's Public Health Services today said:
"Community transmission of the Delta variant of the Sars-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 disease continues to be widespread. We have not been notified of any cases of the Omicron variant but not all tests are sequenced to detect the presence of this variant. While the Omicron variant seems to cause milder illness so far in the U.S. it appears to be milder in those who are vaccinated. This means vaccination is providing very good protection against hospitalization for both the Delta and Omicron variant- which is much more contagious. "
The statement added that Sullivan County residents and people who live in other rural counties that have lower vaccination rates "have experienced a higher rate per population of individuals becoming ill or needing hospital care."
While 70.7% of New Yorkers have been fully vaccinated (CDC), only 62.8% of the County’s total population has received at least one dose and 74.4% of the population age 18+, the County said.
Public Health Services also urged getting children age 5-18 vaccinated.
"It is safe and effective, and will prevent disruptions caused by being quarantined if they are exposed, and it will also give parents the peace of mind that their children will be protected from serious illness if exposed, or from transmitting the virus to more vulnerable family members," the statement said, adding that it's important to continue to socially distance and to wear masks indoors "regardless of vaccination status and wash your hands before touching your face. "
"Getting fully vaccinated and getting a booster is the best protection for everyone to remain healthy and avoid serious illness or long term complications from getting Covid-19 disease," according to Public Health Services. "Enjoy holiday gatherings but please do it safely for now, until we get through the holidays."