Greene County reports highest COVID infection rate in Capital Region
Sarah Trafton and Natasha Vaughn are reporting for Columbia-Greene Media with nine COVID-19 deaths reported in the last week and an 11.8 percent positivity rate, Greene County has the highest infection rate in the Capital Region. At the same time, Columbia County has one of the lowest. The region, composed of Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties, has the third-highest positivity rate in the state at 9.9 percent. Greene County’s positivity rate, on a seven-day average, is 11.8 percent and Columbia County's is 6.9 percent, according to the state Department of Health. New York City, by comparison, has a seven-day average of 6.2 percent, with the highest borough, the Bronx, reporting 7.7 percent. Greene County is seeing the result of “living room spread,” which is responsible for more than 70 percent of COVID-19 cases, Greene County Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger said. In addition to the increase in cases, the number of people on quarantine is also increasing, Linger said. A total of 541 residents were on quarantine and 33 residents have died from the virus. Greene County reported five new deaths over the weekend, which stemmed from Coxsackie Correctional Facility, local nursing homes and the general population, Linger said. Of the county’s 349 active cases Monday, 40 were from Coxsackie Correctional and 83 were from adult-care facilities, primarily from Greene Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation, with some at The Pines at Catskill Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, Linger said. He did not have specifics on the number of cases at each facility. Columbia County's seven-day average positivity rate is 6.9 percent and its 14-day average positivity rating of 5.8 percent is second lowest in the Capital Region. Only Washington County’s average positivity rating is lower at 5.6 percent. Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said the positivity rating is largely based on the number of individuals who are tested for the virus. “Some people would say the more you test the more positives you have,” said Mabb. “Some people might be critical of us because we don’t test as much as, say, Albany, but I really do think, and I’ve said this all along, that Columbia County residents in my comings and goings, and my trips to Walmart, I think people are complying.” Mabb said, “I think our residents are following the guidance, they’re wearing their masks and socially distancing as much as possible.” The county Department of Health January 4, the county reported its 51st COVID-related death since the beginning of the pandemic. Mabb said it was an older community member, but said he could not disclose more information because of privacy concerns. As of January 4, there have been 1,774 positive COVID-19 cases in the county since the beginning of the pandemic. There are 271 active cases, 30 people hospitalized and 333 county residents in mandatory quarantine because of COVID. COVID rates have been increasing rapidly in recent weeks, Mabb said. From December 4 to January 4, the Columbia County Department of Health has reported 740 new COVID cases, with 41.7 percent of all of the county’s positive COVID cases occurring in the past week. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.