Spike in Columbia County COVID-19 Positive Cases Raises Concern

The recent uptick in positive coronavirus tests in northern Columbia County has sounded alarm bells in county leadership, raising concerns that a large-scale spread may be in the offing if individuals fail to take the appropriate measures to combat the virus’s spread. Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb said Monday that “clusters are popping up – we hope it stays that way and doesn’t develop into something larger. We’ll see how things look following the July 4 weekend. There were a lot of backyard gatherings at which social distancing and mask wearing was not practiced.”

“We see the rise in COVID-19 infections happening around the country, and we all need to remain mindful that while things have been relatively stable in the county and the state, a new major outbreak could occur at any time. And testing remains a critical part of helping to contain the virus,” Director Mabb added.

Director Mabb noted that the county DOH receives daily complaints about businesses that are not enforcing mask-wearing and other measures among their staff. To report violations of health and safety restrictions and requirements for businesses, gatherings and individuals, visit the following website: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

According to the NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, there has been a continued uptick in the percentage of positive COVID-19 test results around the state. For example, last Wednesday, 3,163 tests conducted resulted in 37 positive cases, for a positive rate of 1.17 percent. This marks the first time there have been consecutive days where the positive rate percentage was above 1.0 since June 1 and 2.

“All of us must remain vigilant,” said county Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell. “We see people who don’t seem to understand the extremely contagious nature of this virus until they or someone they know contract it. There’s no use to be in denial about the dangers of the coronavirus.”

Chairman Murell issued a warning about the economic devastation that awaits if another lockdown were to become necessary around the state: “For us to go backwards now would amount to a total disaster. The first time around was bad enough, but we simply cannot afford to shut down again. We would see restaurants and other businesses close for good. It’s up to every individual to follow the CDC-issued steps to practice social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand washing. Remember, it could only take one asymptomatic case to become a potential super-spreader.”

Click Here for a list of the upcoming testing sites, dates, and times.

Columbia County Department of Health

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