Ulster County Reports Dramatic Increase in Active COVID-19 Cases
As cases of COVID-19 driven by the delta variant continue to climb in the region, Ulster County will open a new vaccination site in Kingston Plaza on Friday August 20, SUNY New Paltz announced that vaccines will be mandatory for students this fall and Nuvance Health will now require full vaccination for all staff by early October.
Ulster County reported 404 active cases on Monday, up from 274 a week ago and the first time cases have exceeded 400 since May. 1. While the number of active cases continues to rise, it remains well below the peak of 2,622 active cases at the end of January 2021. The daily positivity rate stood at 3.2% on Monday.
The town of Saugerties had the most active cases in the county with 53, followed by the city of Kingston with 42 and the town of New Paltz with 41. The town of Lloyd had 29, the town of Ulster had 25, Gardiner had eleven, Olive had six, Woodstock and the City of Kingston each had five, and Rosendale had four. Shandaken has not identified any active cases.
Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan has urged county residents to get vaccinated as the county continues to see an increase in positive cases driven by the delta variant.
On Tuesday, Ryan announced a new vaccination site at Kingston Plaza which will open on Friday. Located between Savona’s Plaza Pizza and Scanlon’s Cleaners, the site will be open from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and then on Friday after that.
“With the nationwide increase in cases due to the Delta variant, Ulster County is redoubling its efforts to make vaccines accessible,” County Director Pat Ryan said in a press release. “As summer draws to a close, it is essential that everyone gets vaccinated. Vaccines are safe, effective, and offer our best ability as a community to stay healthy and bring back a sense of normalcy. “
Appointments can be made at VaccinateUlster.com and appointments will be accepted.
Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will be available on site for the first and second doses. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for people 12 years of age and older.
A parent or legal guardian must accompany and give consent for vaccination for anyone under the age of 18. No documentation is required. All necessary forms will be available on the site in English and Spanish, and a Spanish interpreter will also be on site. For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations, visit vaccinateulster.com.
Move-in day at SUNY New Paltz
When SUNY New Paltz again welcomes students, including more than 1,000 freshmen and 700 transfer students for in-person instruction starting Thursday, all students planning to attend in person will be required to show proof of vaccination. It is part of a SUNY and CUNY directive that applies to all public colleges and universities in the state. State officials encouraged all private universities to follow suit, but refrained from making it a requirement.
When the new students return, they will join 6,000 current students for what will be the first semester all in person at SUNY New Paltz since the pandemic began in 2020.
Masks will be required in indoor spaces for all students, faculty, staff and guests regardless of immunization status for the start of the fall 2021 semester in response to new masking recommendations from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and the rise of the Delta variant.
“Our new students overcame serious challenges during the pandemic, demonstrating incredible persistence and commitment to service while remaining focused on their academics,” said Jeff Gant, vice president of enrollment management at a prepared statement. “This new class is full of students who have been deeply involved in their community as volunteers, artists, actors, entrepreneurs, athletes and activists. They are excited to be on campus and eager to safely engage with their peers and faculty.
Ryan announced last week that Ulster County K-12 Schools will be returning in person five days a week this fall with mask requirements for all faculty, staff, students and contractors regardless of status. vaccination.
Nuvance Health, which locally operates Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck, Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, as well as an emergency care center in the Hudson Valley Shopping Center and a number of primary care practices in the county Ulster, has announced that all of its staff will be required to receive COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment or service provision at its facilities.
The mandate will apply to employees, medical staff, volunteers, students and contractors.
Nuvance said current staff members must provide full vaccination documentation by October 1, 2021. And as of August 23, all new hires must provide COVID-19 vaccination documentation before their first day on the job. .
The health system has said that members of the workforce who are not fully immunized by the deadline and do not have an approved accommodation request, such as for medical or religious reasons, will no longer be able to continue to work or provide services to Nuvance Health.
Nuvance says the warrant is necessary because the more contagious variants pose a higher risk of spread and it seeks to create “the safest possible environment for employees, patients and visitors.”
“We believe that having a fully immunized workforce is critically important to ensuring the health and well-being of our employees, patients and community members,” said Dr. John M. Murphy , President and Chief Executive Officer of Nuvance. “We have proven throughout the pandemic that we can meet even the most difficult challenges when we work together. We must continue to work together by getting vaccinated against COVID-19 so that we can have a safe environment for our patients and for each other. “
Nuvance said it provides ongoing communications and support to employees to meet the reasoning, process and expectations for the full vaccination. The healthcare system said it encouraged all employees with concerns or questions about COVID-19 vaccines to seek advice from their primary care provider.
Regarding COVID-19 testing, Ulster County no longer operates testing sites according to Deputy County Deputy Director Dan Torres.
Torres said a full list of local testing sites can be found at https://covid19.ulstercountyny.gov/get-tested/. Those without internet access can contact their primary care physician or call the recovery hotline at (845) 443-8888
The county website has a full list of local testing sites with contact information, if they offer diagnostic, molecular and / or rapid tests, if appointments are required, and which sites offer free tests for. the uninsured.
The New York State Department of Health COVID-19 testing protocols are as follows:
- Test providers and private laboratories can establish specific criteria that allow them to better meet the needs of patients.
- Those who wish to be tested, even if they have not been able to receive a test previously, should contact their health care provider or call the recovery service center at (845) 443-8888.
- Those with symptoms of COVID-19, such as dry cough, fever, shortness of breath, or loss of taste / smell, please call the testing site in advance to arrange safe access to the site.
- COVID-19 diagnostic tests are covered by most health insurance companies at zero cost to the patient or with a standard copayment. Those looking for a test should check with your insurance provider before being tested to understand what cost, if any, they may be required to cover. Several test sites offer free tests for people without insurance.
- Additional information on NYS test sites in the Mid-Hudson area can be found at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you.