HUDSON — January 2022 has had more COVID cases than any other month of the pandemic — and it’s only mid-January.
In the middle of the month, the Columbia County Department of Health reports a record 1,787 cases.
“We’re at 1,787 in 14 days of January,” said Jack Mabb, director of the Columbia County Department of Health. “We had a total of 1,467 in January (2021) and that was our worst month in terms of numbers. So we’re really going to break this monthly record here, big.”
The Department of Health has reported a total of 9,220 positive COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, representing 19.38%, or nearly 20%, of all COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic in January 2022. has been reported.
A Columbia County resident died of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the number of deaths since the start of the pandemic to 124. winter.
Two weeks into the month, this is the highest number of deaths the province has had in a single month since 15 were reported last February. During the entire month of January 2021, 22 COVID-related deaths were reported.
“It was a gentleman at a hospital nearby, which is difficult for us to trace,” Mabb said. “He was on a ventilator, he was in ICU, he was in his 70s, not vaccinated.”
During the pandemic, most of the COVID-related deaths involved unvaccinated people: one of the deaths that occurred this year, and three of the 124 COVID deaths in the province were individuals who had been vaccinated. The other 121 were not vaccinated.
“The numbers send a loud and clear message, get vaccinated, get a booster,” Mabb said.
On Friday, 109 new positive cases were reported by the Department of Health, an all-time high for a single day, but lower than the record-breaking 230 positives reported Wednesday.
“It’s an interesting kind of the new normal. I went back and saw it was posted on 109, and I was like, Gosh, this is great news,” Mabb said. “Two weeks ago it would have been, oh my god, we have 109. Yesterday we had 130, today 109, so I think this is leveling off a bit.”
A large proportion of the cases reported this week came from an outbreak at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing in Barnwell in Valatie. The state recently updated its visitation requirements, requiring all nursing home visitors to have had a negative test at least one day prior to the visit.
Local schools will begin a test-to-return protocol Jan. 24, Mabb said. COVID testing is offered to students on Mondays and Thursdays from 9-11am at AB Shaw and the Claverack Fire Company and on Wednesdays at the Chatham Firehouse.
“It’s aimed at the parents who do the right thing and keep a sick child at home, who starts to feel better after a day or two,” Mabb said. “Normally you don’t get that with COVID. Most of the kids are kept at home because they’re sick, stomachaches or sore throats or whatever and those parents have been struggling to find a place to get their kids tested so we’re going to make sure it’s available .”