Saturday, December 9, 2023

Orange County Returns to High Risk of COVID as Cases Spike

As warm weather arrives and Memorial Day approaches, Orange County, NY has once again been upgraded to a high risk of COVID. The announcement came today as the U.S. Center for Disease Control upgraded several Hudson Valley areas.

In Orange County, there are 225 new cases with one person recently dying. This puts the current countywide active total at 1,153. Over the last week, there were 44 county residents admitted to hospitals with COVID. Across the Mid-Hudson region, 220 COVID patients are currently hospitalized.

Due to the spike, the CDC and New York State Department of Health are now recommending that all Orange County residents, regardless of vaccination status, once again begin wearing masks while indoors in public places. The upgrade also includes Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester Counties. Excluded from the upgrade are Rockland County and New York City, which remain in low to medium risks.

All county executives in the affected areas were briefed today prior to a conference call with Governor Kathy Hochul, Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Basset, and other state officials. The public officials discussed the updated recommendations as well as COVID preparedness heading into the summer.

Meanwhile, Governor Hochul explained that three out of four New Yorkers are vaccinated, but “that still isn’t enough.”

Dr. Bassett noted that in addition to wearing masks again, residents should be vaccinated, boosted, and get tested following exposure or symptoms. She encourages those who feel sick to remain at home, even if the initial test shows negative results. “These public health measures, as well as ensuring proper air ventilation when gathering, will help reduce COVID-19 transmission in communities and lower the risk of serious illness and hospitalization for individuals,” said Dr. Bassett.

There are currently 251,160 fully vaccinated Orange County residents, consisting of 65.2% of the population.

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