Columbia County now ranks "high" with COVID spread as cancellations continue
Natasha Vaughn-Holdridge reports for Columbia-Greene Media that on Aug. 23 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scored Columbia County at a high level of community transmission for COVID-19. “I think our numbers were a lot higher last winter, but this is certainly the first time we’ve been there with delta,” Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said of the new, more contagious strain of coronavirus. “I think I see us well into September, well into the start of school, seeing this level of community spread." School sports are not supposed to continue in areas with a high level of community transmission, and football practices start this week. “So the question was asked do we allow our athletes to practice, and we decided, yes, we will allow our athletes to practice,” Mabb said. "The schools are testing and interestingly enough several school districts in the Capital Region are requiring their athletes to be vaccinated. I think it’s a worthy conversation to have among our school superintendents to see where they’re at. I don’t think they’re ready to go there but on Wednesday we’ll have that conversation.” Columbia, Greene, and Rensselaer counties have all reported new COVID-19 deaths in the past several days. There has also been several new COVID-related cancellations this week as Basilica Hudson canceled their Soundscape festival next month at P.S. 21 in Chatham, and organizers in Albany have put off Lark Fest for another year. "One of our SoundScape artists, William Basinski, has recently decided to cancel his entire fall tour due to increasing health and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19," organizers wrote on the Basilica Hudson website, also citing rising local COVID-19 case counts. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.