Working on MLK Day to stay ahead of COVID numbers

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HUDSON, N.Y. (NEWS10) – According to Director Jack Mabb, the Columbia County Department of Health is hard at work on this Martin Luther King Day. Mabb said if they weren’t working, the backlog of just one day would overwhelm his staff. On Saturday, Mabb said they had 62 positive results, one of the county’s highest days so far, with half the numbers coming from nursing homes.

“It’s kind of affected three out of the five or six,” Director Mabb said Monday. “So it’s raising its head back in nursing homes, and that’s not good.”

One other concern Mabb had is how long the coronavirus’s new strain may have been in the U.S.

“I do think, though, that sooner or later, you will find out that this new variant that is much more contagious has been here for a while,” said Mabb.

When asked about the number of vaccine doses this week, Mabb reported that Columbia County is getting an extra 100 doses. Mabb said Columbia County is one of the few counties getting extra doses because its pharmacies don’t have doses to give to seniors.

That means this week, the county has 400 doses of the vaccine.

“We have a call center that has been taking calls from seniors, getting names and phone numbers,” explained the health director. “We may not end up doing a link because there is a whole block of people waiting in reserve. That is something we (Mabb’s staff) will have to talk through.”

Mabb did warn this is a one-time thing, getting those extra doses from the state to vaccinate seniors.

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