Vaccine rollout ramps up
Over 5 million first doses and 2.7 million completed series have been administered in New York state since mid-December. In the North Country, 31.7% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine, statewide 26.7%, in the U.S. 24.9%. The state received 3.5 million doses in the past three weeks.
People 50 years of age and older are now eligible for vaccination in New York state. To find a vaccination site near you, go to:
Nationwide and statewide, the rate of daily deaths continues to decline.
Vaccination does not mean you cannot catch COVID-19. You may still get the disease, but likely a less severe version, generally not requiring hospitalization. If you wonder which vaccine to get, is one better than another? At this point, get whatever vaccine is available. Vaccinated people may still infect others, so continue to take precautions. Proper mask usage remains critical.
The fatality rate, the percent of deaths of positive test results, is lower in Franklin County (0.53%) and the North Country (1.2%) than New York state (2.24%). This is a reason some people will not take this seriously; we have been much less affected by COVID than the rest of the state. The three lowest fatality rate counties in the state are Hamilton, Franklin and Clinton. Our region is doing much better than the rest of the state in other measurements: highest level of intensive care unit beds available (56% vs. 29% statewide), highest level of hospital beds available (57% vs. 36%), lowest new hospitalizations per 100,000 population (0.48 vs. 2.82) and fewest new cases per 100,000 population (12 vs. 39).
The region’s hospitalizations are decreasing, averaging 22 people hospitalized and three in ICU due to COVID-19 during the past week.
Per New York state, we have had 253 COVID deaths in the North Country, up four in the past week. Our region’s seven-day positives average stayed at 1.44%. Community spread is still the major issue. So stay vigilant: Wear your masks, socially distance from others, wash your hands frequently, and get vaccinated.
Testing is important, even as more people are vaccinated. Get tested periodically, to help protect our community. Infected people without symptoms are major spreaders. Early detection reduces the spread. For an appointment, call Adirondack Health at 518-897-2462.
When going about your daily business, you will likely encounter someone who is positive but unaware. This includes people who have been vaccinated, so stay cautious and wear a mask, socially distance, and wash your hands frequently.