On Friday, there were 2,819 New Yorkers in the hospital due to covid. Yeah, covid.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control on Friday released some disturbing statistics about the rise in covid-related illnesses as we march into to late fall and winter.
According to the CDC, there were 46 counties across the country reporting “high” levels of the virus. Of those, 10 are here in New York – accounting for 20% of the nation’s counties in that category.
Among the 10 New York counties listed as “high” were Albany, Rensselaer and Warren counties. Nearby counties like Schenectady, Saratoga, Washington, Fulton and Montgomery counties reported “medium” levels.
People living in counties categorized as having high levels are advised by the CDC to resume wearing masks indoors in public and on public transportation, to get up to date on vaccinations and boosters, to get tested if you show symptoms and to seek additional help if symptoms become severe.
The classification is determined by the number of new cases in the county per 100,000 people in the past seven days. Counties with high levels have at least 20 cases per 100,000 people in that time period.
Medium is between 10 and 20 cases per 100,000.
In addition, the state Health Department is reporting that all counties in the state meeting the CDC definition of “substantial” or “high” for transmission level, which is related to new cases and testing.
While those numbers don’t begin to match the caseloads from the height of the pandemic, they do serve as yet another warning about the return of the virus, particularly as we all start to move indoors for the winter months.
Vaccines are the key.
They have significantly reduced hospitalization and mortality among vaccinated individuals, which in turn helps reduce the risk for substantial or high community-wide transmission. That, in turn, reduces the risk for the emergence of new variants that could overcome vaccine-induced immunity.
As in the past, certain populations are at higher risk for exposure and infection — the elderly, pregnant women, those with certain underlying medical conditions.
Unvaccinated people remain at particular risk for infection, severe illness, and death.
So it’s vital that people get vaccinated, monitor themselves and loved ones for early signs of infection so they can take proper precautions and consider medical care.
As long as this virus keeps threatening people’s health and potentially their lives, we’ll keep issuing reminders about the continued risk from exposure.
Take it seriously and do what you can to protect yourself and others from getting sick and contributing to the resurgence.