Otsego County had an increasing number of COVID cases in August. Community transmission is considered high.
According to the Otsego County Department of Health (DOH), there 380 total cases in August with 52% unvaccinated and 48% vaccinated. Everyone hospitalized due to COVID, a total of six people, were unvaccinated individuals, including the two most recent deaths locally from the virus.
The majority of cases occurred in people between the ages of 25 and 55.
In addition, there have been almost 60 new cases reported in the past two days, 30 on Friday, Sept. 3, and 29 on Thursday, Sept. 2. That brings the total active number of cases in Otsego County to 134, a positivity rate of 5.5%.
The CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors in public regardless of vaccination status in order to protect from the delta variant as well as to avoid spreading it to others.
The Otsego County DOH recommends getting the vaccine as it greatly reduces the likelihood of hospitalization and is considered the most effective tool against the COVID virus.
Just as the country thought it was safe to get rid of masks, COVID-19 has made a sudden, startling comeback.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the seven-day moving average of new cases for the week ended Aug. 6, stands at nearly 123,000 per day. The Associated Press has reported more than 44,000 people were hospitalized in the U.S. last weekend, a 30% increase from the prior week and four times the number in June. Daily deaths hover around 500, nearly twice the rate of two weeks ago.
Of those hospitalized, 97.5% are unvaccinated, a group that represents 99% of deaths. An unvaccinated person is 300 times more likely to die from COVID than one who is vaccinated. One infectious disease expert recently pointed out that for the unvaccinated it is “Not a matter of if you will contract the virus, only a matter of when.”
The Otsego County Department of Health released a press release on Wednesday, Aug. 4, that said Otsego County was considered by the CDC to be at a “substantial level of community transmission”, and that they now recommend mask wearing indoors, even for those who have already been vaccinated.
Otsego County is currently at 50.5% vaccinated for adults, which is well below the state and country average of around 70%.
This comes on the heels of Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig warning about the dangers of the delta variant and other future variants.
The Clark Sports Center is now requiring mask wearing indoors for all in response to the CDC recommendations as is the Cooperstown Farmer’s Market.
The Otsego County Department of Health will be holding an additional pop up clinic at the Otsego County fair from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug.4 at the EMS building.
This past Sunday the Director of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) approved the use of the COVID-vaccine produced by Janssen/Johnson & Johnson. The day before the FDA determined that the vaccine was safe and effective for the prevention of COVID-19 and gave it an EUA (emergency use authorization).
On Monday, the state Task Force unanimously recommended its use.
The entire current inventory of 3.9 million doses is scheduled to ship this week. J&J says it plans to manufacture enough additional doses to ship 16 million by the end of March. New York State is supposed to receive somewhere between 93,000 doses and 160,000 this week depending on whether you believe the Feds or the state. In any event, this is very good news.
There have been some concerns from some people; two called me today. They are concerned that this vaccine is not as effective as those already approved. They want to know if they should get the J&J vaccine now if available, or wait to get either the Moderna or Pfizer one.