HUDSON – The Columbia County Department of Health attributes an increase in COVID-19 cases in the county to an outbreak at Grand Rehabilitation & Nursing in Barnwell in Valatie and the aftermath of the Columbia County Fair.
As of September 19, Barnwell Care Home had recorded 41 cases among residents and another 13 among staff. The latest figures represent a slight increase from Friday, when 40 residents and a dozen staff confirmed cases at Valatie nursing home.
“I think this is likely due to the highly contagious Omicron and BA.5 variants of the virus that made their way into the facility,” Columbia County Health Department Director Jack Mabb said in a statement. communicated. “Barnwell moved positive cases to a separate wing and dealt with it positively.”
The county recorded 28 new positive COVID cases as of the end of the weekend on Monday.
As of Friday afternoon, the county had 72 active virus cases, with 12 county residents hospitalized and a pair in intensive care with COVID-related illnesses.
Mabb said Monday that the Columbia County Health Department has five positive COVID cases among its staff, with four of those employees having worked at the department’s booth at the county fair. The health director said there appeared to be a clear line between the recent increase in cases and the county fair, which took place from August 31 to September 5. On August 31, the county had 33 active cases, a number that rose to 72 by September 16.
“There’s no real science here because we don’t know exactly where they got it, but the timing was such that there’s a good chance some of them were exposed while working on the stand,” Mabb said Monday. “There are events at the fair that can be natural spreaders. There is the parade of firefighters, where they then gather in a tent and spend a few hours there. Our stand is in the main fair house, which is an old and beautiful building, but there is no real modern air circulation and there are a lot of people passing by.
The Greene County Public Health Department on Friday confirmed the 137th death in the county since the pandemic began in March 2020.
The unidentified woman was in her 60s and had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine at the time of her death. The woman also had unknown comorbidities and died in hospital.
The Columbia County Health Department will be offering COVID vaccination clinics at the AB Shaw Fire Department in Claverack on Thursdays from 3-5:30 p.m. throughout September. All vaccines will be available without an appointment.
The Columbia Health Agency will also be offering a monkeypox vaccination clinic on Sept. 29 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Professional Academic Center at Columbia-Greene Community College. The Columbia Department has vaccinated 179 people with the monkeypox vaccine to date, including the first and second doses of the vaccine.