As Fulton County continues to have the highest 7-day COVID-19 positivity rank of any county in New York state, some previously planned high-profile indoor events have begun to be cancelled.
From Oct. 3 through Oct. 9, Fulton County had a 7-day COVID-19 positivity percentage of 10.2%, with 262 new positive COVID-19 cases. Fulton County was the only county in New York state to crack double digits for the measurement, with the state’s 62-county 7-day positivity at 2.5%.
Fulton County’s 14-day COVID-19 positivity percentage is also the highest of any county in New York state at 10.2%, but the total number of new COVID-19 cases was slightly worse from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, with 296 new cases.
Geoffrey Peck, the vice president of population health at Nathan Littauer Hospital and the executive director of the Nathan Littauer Foundation, cited the local spread of COVID-19 in an internet post regarding the cancellation of the foundation’s planned Oct. 15 “Around the World in 80 Days” fundraiser, which was going to take place at The Eccentric Club in Gloversville and serve as the annual “The Event” fundraiser for the foundation, which traditionally raises about $100,000 per year.
“Regrettably, we are forced to cancel our in-person gala scheduled for Friday, October 15, 2021,” Peck wrote in the post. “In 2020, we were fortunate to have support for a scaled-down, outdoor evening. This year the challenges of COVID 19 make even that impossible.”
Peck said the COVID-19 conditions in Fulton County make it too dangerous for an indoor event right now.
“At this moment, Fulton County is lagging in vaccination and leading in infection rate,” Peck wrote. “The vaccine mandate has exacerbated an already challenging workforce shortage, and costs to protect our community and care for patients have skyrocketed.”
According to the state Dept. of Health, Fulton County continued to rank last in the mostly rural Mohawk Valley for percentage of residents with at least one COVID-19 shot, at 49.1%, 26,314.
For comparison, neighboring Montgomery County has 62.5% of its residents with at least one COVID-19 shot, 30,914 people and Saratoga County has 71.1% of its residents with at least one vaccine shot, 163,757.
Montgomery County has a 7-day positivity percentage of 8.4% and a 14-day positivity percentage of 7%.
Saratoga County’s 7-day positivity percentage is 3%, and it’s 14-day positivity percentage is 3.1%.
Last week, the planned Mohawk Valley Brownfield Development Summit at the Johnstown-Gloversville Holiday Inn was canceled.
“Unfortunately, we had to postpone that until the spring because of COVID concerns,” Fulton County CRG President Ron Peters said. “Some of our partners who were going to be coming up, from out of state, who had travel restrictions. We had leaders coming in from some federal agencies to talk about their programs, and they’re facing some travel restrictions. We’ve got to respect that. We had a couple of federal agencies, I’m not sure which ones, but they had some restrictions, and they’re pulling back from travel, so that impacted us. We did a poll among all of us, and decided that the safest thing was to postpone it.”
The event was supposed to take place on Wednesday and Thursday and 94 people had been scheduled to attend. U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N, was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the summit, which would have focused on how municipalities like Gloversville can access federal funding to help cleanup soil-contaminated former industrial sites.
Peters said the summit last week was changed into a “webinar” instead, but he hopes an in-person brownfields summit can be rescheduled for the spring of 2022.