Ulster’s Covid cases pass 1900 with 25 hospitalized as first doses of vaccine arrive

Covid-19 cases in Ulster County continue to increase as local hospitals prepare to administer the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine to health-care workers.

As of this afternoon, Ulster has 1905 active cases and 112 fatalities. The number hospitalized is up from 16 last Thursday to 25 today, according to Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, speaking via Facebook Live today. Of those 25, three are in intensive care, requiring the use of ventilators. Ryan said that although hospitalizations are up 50 percent since last Thursday, this was expected, and the lower number of patients requiring ventilators is a result of better treatment approaches, and, possibly, mutations in the virus that have made it less deadly than the strain that was circulating in the spring.

Local hospital capacity has been increased significantly

 

 

 

 

 

The percentage of Covid-19 tests coming back positive continues to be above five percent, averaging 5.26 percent over the last four days and 6.36 percent over the last 24 hours.

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Ryan said studies show most transmission is occurring in small gatherings, such as in private homes, and this is why businesses have not been shut down as of yet the way they were in the spring, when cases were lower. He once again called on residents to voluntarily forgo unnecessary indoor gatherings, maintain social distancing, washing hands, and wear masks.

Ulster County is receiving 1000-2000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the first round of distribution this week, and the major hospital groups, Westchester Medical Center and Nuvance, are making arrangements to vaccinate the most at-risk workers. Senior-care facilities will be next, with the most at-risk workers and residents will be receiving their vaccines through CVS beginning next week.

The vaccines will be distributed in stages, beginning with the above groups, and followed by others in health-care and some other essential workers, then individuals over 65 and individuals under 65 with risk factors, then remaining essential workers, then everyone else.

The phases of Covid-19 vaccine distribution

 

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The phases will run well into 2021. To help increase trust in the vaccine and get people to take it, the Ulster County Vaccine Distribution Coalition was created.

Members of the committee include a diverse group of community leaders:

  • Dr. Marc Tack, Infectious Disease Specialist

  • Dr. Walter Woodley, Institute for Family Health

  • Dr. Marta Sanchez, Institute for Family Health

  • Mariel Fiori, Editor La Voz Magazine

  • Beth Albright, Family of Woodstock

  • Susan Koppenhaver, Director of the Ulster County Office for the Aging

  • Estela Aquino-Woych, New York State Nurses Association

  • Lauri Naccarato, New York State United Teachers

  • Pastor Jim Childs, Pointe of Praise Church

  • Pastor Denise Younger, New Testament Church of Jesus Christ in Ellenville

  • Diana Lopez, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson

  • Ulster County Jewish Federation Representative

Ryan said members will meet and discuss information about the vaccine’s efficacy and safety as more data becomes available, and share that with residents they interact with in their capacity as community leaders.