G-O Health reports about 25% of new Covid cases among vaccinated

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2021 at 5:20 pm

Delta variant breaks through but few of those people get seriously sick if they are vaccinated

ALBION – Covid-19 cases are on the rise locally, and about 25 percent of those new cases are among people who are vaccinated, said Paul Pettit, the public health director in Genesee and Orleans.

So far in August there have been 452 new Covid cases in the two counties and 112 were among people who were fully vaccinated or 24.8 percent of the total. That includes 17.1 percent of the cases in Orleans so far August – 34 out of 171 – and 30.8 percent in Genesee – 78 out of 253, Pettit said in a news briefing this afternoon.

The vaccines are working, however, because Pettit said few of the vaccinated people who get Covid show serious symptoms. Most are asymptomatic or have minor symptoms.

“It is keeping people out of the hospital,” he said about the vaccine.

He continues to encourage eligible people to get vaccinated if they haven’t already.

The latest Covid surge, after there were few cases in early summer, include people of all ages, including children, Pettit said.

“We do know the Delta variant is likely the cause of it,” Pettit said about the current Covid surge. “We know that it is here.”

Genesee currently has 77 active cases and 15 of those are hospitalized. In Orleans, there are 64 actives cases and two are in the hospital due to Covid.

In the past seven days, Genesee has 114 new cases and a 5.8 percent positivity rate, while Orleans has 55 new Covid cases and a positive test rate of 5.3 percent, Pettit. Those positivity rate are above the state and regional averages.

Pettit said the two counties are lagging behind the regional and state averages for vaccinations. The Health Department continues to make reaching the eligible unvaccinated (those 12 and older) to get the shot, while also preparing to offer booster shots beginning on Sept. 20.

“Our focus truly remains on the unvaccinated,” Pettit said. “We can’t stress enough to get more people vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

The Health Department this week is holding get-back-to-school vaccination clinics, including one on Thursday at Albion Central School. Click here for more information.

Pettit also addressed the mandate from Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state Department of Health, requiring students, teachers, staff and visitors inside schools to wear masks. Pettit said the decision frustrated many local school districts that had already developed safety reopening plans.

Pettit said the local districts are committed to have all students back for in-person learning with as few disruptions as possible this school year. The mask mandate has an added benefit of reducing the need to quarantine students if they have been in close contact with another person in school who tests positive for the virus.

“The quarantines were very disruptive to students’ learning,” Pettit said.