ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — To get a good picture of what’s happening locally, NEWS10 strove to get the number of breakthrough cases in 11 Capital Region counties. We contacted the New York State Department of Health (DOH) to find out how many breakthrough cases of COVID have been reported statewide.
DOH said on Monday they were aware of 66,217 laboratory-confirmed breakthrough cases of COVID in fully vaccinated New Yorkers ages 12 or older and 5,604 reported hospitalizations from breakthrough cases since January.
Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, and Washington counties all report on breakthrough cases regularly, either through press releases or county websites. Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, and Schoharie counties do not, nor did they respond (with the exception of Greene County whose public health director was on vacation) to requests from NEWS10 for breakthrough information.
Below is what we do know about breakthrough COVID cases locally.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen the number of county residents hospitalized with COVID steadily rise over the last week, and the last time we had 40 people in the hospital at one time was back on March 5. And the latest data is showing that among those hospitalized, 70% are not vaccinated, 5% are partially vaccinated and 25% are fully vaccinated,” said Albany County Executive Dan McCoy on Tuesday.
Out of 568 new cases of COVID in the county from September 12 to September 18, McCoy said 243 were fully vaccinated, the status of 44 cases was unknown, and 281 were not fully vaccinated. He also said vaccination statuses are provided by the residents themselves and do not take the date when the vaccine was administered or the start of the illness into consideration.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 121 out of 323 active COVID cases in Saratoga County are in vaccinated residents, according to the county’s COVID dashboard. To date, there have been 1,200 breakthrough cases, six of which have resulted in death, 11 currently hospitalized, and 1,073 who have recovered.
“In Saratoga County, breakthrough cases represent 0.71% of the fully vaccinated population and 0.03% of hospitalizations. It’s important to point out that the low percentage in hospitalized breakthrough cases (0.03%) and the fully vaccinated population (0.71%) show that the vaccines are working to reduce severity of infection and help to prevent hospitalization for most,” said Director of Public Relations, Christine Rush.
Although nearly 85% of adults in Saratoga County have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, Rush said they are continuing to encourage residents to get vaccinated to lower the risk of serious illness or complications from COVID.
Schenectady County said on average 30% of the COVID cases they are seeing are in vaccinated residents. According to the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker, 88.2% of Schenectady County residents ages 18 or older have had at least one dose of COVID vaccine.
The state COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker says 106,726 of the 155,350 residents in Schenectady County are fully vaccinated or approximately 70%.
Warren County reported Tuesday that 377 of 42,998 fully vaccinated residents have tested positive for COVID which includes seven new cases since Monday. The majority of vaccinated residents (354 of the 377) that did get COVID had mild cases.
The county said 12 individuals with breakthrough cases became moderately ill, two became seriously ill and three became critically ill. Six fully vaccinated elderly residents with a lot of health issues prior to getting COVID died. Five from one nursing home.
Warren is one of two local counties that also provide breakthrough information by vaccine type (Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer). As of Tuesday, they reported the following breakthrough cases by vaccine.
- Johnson & Johnson- 47
- Moderna- 126
- Pfizer- 163
Of the 33,894 Washington County fully vaccinated residents, 217 have had breakthrough cases, the county said Tuesday in its daily report. They also said of those 217 breakthrough cases, one resident died and six others were hospitalized. The rest had mild to no symptoms.
Washington County is the second local county that routinely provides breakthrough information by vaccine type (Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer). They said they are also working with the DOH to find out how many of its residents have received each shot.
As of Tuesday, they reported the following breakthrough cases by vaccine.
- Johnson & Johnson- 38
- Moderna- 48
- Pfizer- 131