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Clinton County health officials encouraged by dropping COVID numbers

Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 4:52 PM EST
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - Clinton County, New York, health officials Thursday focused on the good news of a drop in COVID-19 cases and reminded residents there is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.

Since March 2020, there have been 3,185 known cases of COVID-19, or about 4% of the Clinton County’s population, and that a total of 22 people have died. Health officials say most of the cases of the virus are mainly due to spread among family members, a majority coming over the past holiday season.

Now that the surge has subsided, it has freed up hospital beds at CVPH in Plattsburgh. “During the height of our post-holiday surge we were up over 30 patients -- that’s a significant strain on our hospital. Those numbers are down below 10 now,” said the hospital’s Dr. Wouter Rietsema.

As of this week, all schools in Clinton and Essex Counties have moved back to in-person or hybrid learning, citing new information from the CDC on the limited spread inside classrooms. “Our COVID-19 safety protocols outlined in our reopening plans -- and implemented with fidelity -- are working to prevent and limit the spread of viruses in our educational facilities,” said Mark Davey with Champlain Valley Educational Services.

Students AT SUNY Plattsburgh are back on campus too and will start in-person learning again next week. There will be mandatory weekly testing and no spring break. “We are going to do 100 percent testing until the May 14th date in which the semester ends,” said Alexander Enyedi, the university’s president.

On the vaccination front, over 8,200 people in the county have received the first dose and more than 3,200 with both. “Approximately 17% of eligible Clinton County residents have received at least their first dose. Look how far we have come in the last year. This is a huge, huge milestone,” said the health department’s John Kanoza.

He says they are running vaccination clinics for those eligible and the state site has ramped up to 1,000 doses a day. Kanoza urged everyone to stay vigilant with mask-wearing and other precautions in the coming months, and that by doing that, you aren’t only protecting yourself and your loved ones, but protecting others’ loved ones too.

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