As COVID cases climb, advice remains the same: Get vaccinated

While the North Country and the rest of the state are nowhere near the peak coronavirus infection rates reached in recent winters, when places like Clinton County were reporting hundreds of new infections daily, cases are climbing across New York.

“We’re seeing the same trend throughout this state and the country, with positive rates ticking up and the most likely variant is the B5,” said Debra Tackett, the director of health care services for Clinton County.

The BA.5 variant is more contagious than the previous COVID variants. It’s also better at reinfecting folks who may have already had COVID, but it’s generally causing less severe illnesses, especially for people who are fully vaccinated.

The list of who’s eligible to get vaccinated now includes children as young as 6 months old. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the COVID-19 vaccine for that age group last month.

But Tackett said Clinton County is still struggling to vaccinate kids 5 and older.

“There seems to be a hesitancy for parents to get their kids vaccinated for COVID. So what it’s going to look like for our 6 months to 5-year-olds, I don’t know yet.”

Clinton County is still ironing out the details of vaccine clinics for kids as young as 6 months old. According to state data, about 43% of kids between 5 and 11 years old in Clinton County are vaccinated. Every other age group is between 80% and 99% vaccinated.

Tackett said folks should expect the coronavirus to be with us next winter and maybe for many more years to come.

“It’s here to stay. I really think that we have to learn to live with COVID, just like we had to learn to live with the flu and I can’t emphasize enough – the best defense is to get vaccinated,” Tackett said.

You get can get a COVID vaccine or booster shot at most pharmacies or county vaccine clinics.


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