Columbia County records first COVID deaths in a month
Lauren Stanforth is reporting for the Times Union the Columbia County Health Department has announced that three of the county's COVID-19 patients died between July 1 and July 5. They are the first deaths in the county linked to the virus in about a month. County Public Health Director Jack Mabb said that two of the patients were nursing home residents. He added that COVID-19 infection levels have been stable and are not an immediate concern, despite the recent deaths. As of July 6, there were 12 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Columbia County, with one in the intensive care unit. Hospitalizations are statewide at levels higher than the past two pandemic summers. However, it is difficult to immediately determine death trends, as the state often releases the numbers in batches, such as after the end of weekends. For example, on July 6 the state announced there were 56 COVID-19-linked deaths between July 2 and July 5. “Much like our other 149 deaths, the vast majority were elderly,” Mabb said about the county residents who contracted coronavirus and died since 2020. He did say health officials are watching the spread of the new BA.5 omicron subvariant closely as summer continues. “What I’m hearing is it’s more contagious and may be more virulent, in terms of how potent it is,” Mabb said. “It’s going to be interesting to watch in the fall when we get back indoors and kids get back in school.” Read the full story in the Times Union.