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Allegany Hope: County Covid-19 Transmission Rate Now High Risk

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From Casey Jones, Editor of Allegany Hope, 8/29/21

BREAKING: Allegany County, NY, has moved into the High Risk level of COVID-19 transmissions, while at the same time experiencing at least one additional COVID-19 death this week.

The first report, on risk levels, came today from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), effective with yesterday’s data, while New York Governor. Kathy Hochul announced the Allegany County resident death, recorded yesterday.

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Additional information on the deaths is unknown beyond what we reported Monday and Thursday. The State Health Department’s COVID-19 Tracker hasn’t been updated today to enable us to determine whether the death occurred inside or outside the county or at an in-county care facility.

We have queried both the governor’s and health department’s press offices for additional information but haven’t yet received a response.

The state health department recorded the death of a county resident last Sunday, the first in over two months, reporting that it occurred outside the county. This type of fatality generally happens at a hospital or other venue.

That death brought the total to date to 88, with 57 having occurred within Allegany County and 56 of the total being nursing home-related deaths last fall and winter.

Thursday, the Allegany County Department of Health reported the death of a 73-year-old male. Since its reports – it now lists 59 deaths – generally relate to in-county fatalities only and have lagged state recordings, insufficient information is available at this time as to whether the county-reported death is from last weekend, is the same one as reported today by the state, or is a third this week.

The CDC High Risk designation for Allegany County, along with three others in the state reported today, leaves only five counties, including neighboring Wyoming, at the lower Substantial Risk level.

That lower level, up from Moderate Risk which occurred for Allegany County just last Sunday, resulted in a recommendation that individuals, including those who are vaccinated, wear masks while inside with others due to vaccinated people also being able to spread and, in some cases, contract the virus.

The latest High Risk designation, according to the CDC, requires “significant measures (on the part of individuals, businesses and governments) to limit contact between persons, with priority given to maintaining essential community activities and services (e.g., health care, transportation, food and agriculture, schools).”

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The risk alerts come as the country is experiencing a major surge in COVID cases, presumably as a result of the Delta variant which is reported to have originated in India. The fast-spreading mutation is causing a multi-fold surge in cases and deaths throughout the state and nation, particularly among the unvaccinated. The vaccinated also can contract the disease, due to the immunizations only having a 90-some percent effectiveness rating, but generally with lesser effects.

Some 10 to 15 percent of new cases in Allegany County this month have occurred among vaccinated people, according to the county health department.

The state reported today, as of last midnight, four new cases over the past seven days, down from 14 the day before, and 51 for the last seven-day period. CDC is reporting 49 for the same time frame, apparently due to different timing or reporting processes.

We have no current data from Allegany County, with its health department reporting exclusively to Allegany Hope Thursday that 35 new cases had been recorded to date for the week, as of Wednesday.

The information was obtained through our Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request which we have to make several times a week now to keep our readers informed after the county stopped providing daily data as of the Fourth of July Weekend, and daily information on weekends back in February.

Our request yesterday for Thursday and Friday numbers hasn’t yet been responded to.

The state and CDC totals indicate a surge in new cases of some 250 percent above last week, during which 20 were recorded. The jump through Wednesday, based on numbers the county has provided, shows a jump of at least 75 percent.

Check back on our main Allegany Hope Facebook page for an update on the deaths as further information becomes available.

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