Pressure Grows on U.S. Companies to Share Covid Vaccine Technology – The New York Times

Pressure Grows on U.S. Companies to Share Covid Vaccine Technology – The New York Times

Pressure Grows on U.S. Companies to Share Covid Vaccine Technology – The New York Times

Pressure Grows on U.S. Companies to Share Covid Vaccine Technology – The New York Times

September 23, 2021

Many of the donated doses bound for use in Africa, for example, were meant to come from the Serum Institute of India. But five months ago, the Indian government blocked the company from exporting any vaccines, ordering that the supply instead be directed to trying to stanch a raging second Covid wave in that country. (India now says it will allow exports to resume next month.)

We keep hearing, The vaccines are coming, the vaccines are coming, but three million people have died since the Pfizer vaccine was first authorized by the F.D.A., said Zain Rizvi, an expert on access to medicines with the advocacy organization Public Citizen.

Moderna and Pfizer have a direct financial interest in keeping their technology to themselves and guarding a competitive advantage not just in the sale of Covid vaccines, which are on track to bring in more than $53 billion in revenue this year, but also other potentially lucrative mRNA vaccines in development, such as one for cancer, H.I.V. and malaria, he said, adding, They dont want to stand up a future competitor.

The coalition of drugmakers in developing countries that is drafting an appeal to Mr. Biden plans to ask the U.S. government to pressure companies for several things: a license for the intellectual property, a license for the technology involved in the manufacturing of the vaccines, the provision of items such as cell lines and assistance in acquiring vital but scarce equipment.

In exchange for sharing its process, Moderna would be compensated with a licensing fee, a percentage of each dose sold.

Even without Modernas cooperation, the W.H.O. says its tech transfer hub in South Africa will focus on trying to replicate as closely as possible the Moderna formula, as the gold standard against which to compare candidates from other biotechnology companies, and then teach any manufacturer who wants to make it how to do so at scale.

If we had Moderna or BioNTech with us, we could get to an approved vaccine in 18 months, but without them we have to go through full development so its 36 months if everything goes perfectly, but it could be longer, said Dr. Friede, who heads the W.H.O.s Initiative for Vaccine Research.

Pfizer and Moderna are at a pivotal moment where they can decide what role they want to play in the process, he said. Ive made many successful vaccines; with me I have other people who have made successful vaccines, he said. What we are actually saying is: Were going to do this. So you can come in and try and maintain some control by actually producing vaccines locally, or were going to do it without you. And then youve lost control.

Rebecca Robbins contributed reporting.


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What Is the R.1 COVID-19 Variant? Here’s What We Know So Far – Health.com

What Is the R.1 COVID-19 Variant? Here’s What We Know So Far – Health.com

September 23, 2021

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Coronavirus Surges in Alaska, Swamping the State’s Hospitals – The New York Times

Coronavirus Surges in Alaska, Swamping the State’s Hospitals – The New York Times

September 23, 2021

Alaska, once a leader in vaccinating its citizens, is now in the throes of its worst coronavirus surge of the pandemic, as the Delta variant rips through the state, swamping hospitals with patients.

As of Tuesday, the state was averaging 117 new cases a day for every 100,000 people, more than any other in the nation, according to recent data trends collected by The New York Times. That figure has shot up by 42 percent in the last two weeks, and by more than twentyfold since early July.

On Wednesday, the state said it had activated crisis standards of care, giving hospitals legal protections for triage decisions that force them to give some patients substandard care. The state also announced an $87 million contract to bring in hundreds of temporary health care workers.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a Republican, said that while hospitals were strained, he did not see a need to implement restrictions aimed at curbing transmission. Still, he encouraged people who had not yet received a vaccination to seriously consider it.

We have the tools available to us for individuals to be able to take care of themselves, Mr. Dunleavy said. While the state led the nation in vaccinations early in the year, it has been lagging in recent months, with under half of its population fully vaccinated, compared with 55 percent nationally, according to federal data.

Jared Kosin, the head of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, called the surge crippling in an interview on Tuesday. He added that hospitals were full, and health care workers were emotionally depleted. Patients are being kept waiting for care in their cars outside overwhelmed emergency rooms.

There is growing anxiety in outlying communities that depend on transferring seriously ill patients to hospitals in Anchorage, Mr. Kosin said. Transfers are getting harder to arrange and are often delayed, he said.

We are all wondering where this goes, and whether that transfer will be available, even tomorrow, Mr. Kosin said.

Critically ill people in rural areas, where many Alaska Natives reside, often have to be taken by plane to a hospital that can provide the treatment they need, said Dr. Philippe Amstislavski, an associate professor of public health at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Unlike in the lower 48, you dont have that ability to move people quickly, because of the distances and remoteness, said Dr. Amstislavski, who was formerly the public health manager for the Interior Region of Alaska, focusing on rural and predominantly Alaska Native communities.

UnderstandVaccine and Mask Mandates in the U.S.

Mr. Kosin said that if hospitalizations rise much further, hospitals and clinics around the state could be forced to apply crisis standards of care and more extreme triage decisions. That is the worst-case scenario we could be heading to, he said.

Alaska Natives, who have historically suffered from health disparities in the state, are disproportionately struggling during the latest virus wave, Dr. Amstislavski said.

Dr. Anne Zink, Alaskas chief medical officer, said several factors may be contributing to the surge, including summer tourists bringing in and spreading the virus.

Were hoping that as the snow falls and we have less people visiting, those numbers will settle down, Dr. Zink said in an interview Tuesday night.

On the other hand, she noted that cooling weather drives residents indoors, where the virus spreads more readily.

The states Canadian neighbors to the east, Yukon and British Columbia, have not suffered such severe outbreaks, Dr. Amstislavski said, possibly because of that countrys stricter travel restrictions and less strained health care system.


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The Vaccinated Aren’t Just as Likely to Spread COVID – The Atlantic

The Vaccinated Aren’t Just as Likely to Spread COVID – The Atlantic

September 23, 2021

For many fully vaccinated Americans, the Delta surge spoiled what shouldve been a glorious summer. Those who had cast their masks aside months ago were asked to dust them off. Many are still taking no chances. Some have even returned to all the same precautions they took before getting their shots, including avoiding the company of other fully vaccinated people.

Among this last group, a common refrain Ive heard to justify their renewed vigilance is that vaccinated people are just as likely to spread the coronavirus.

This misunderstanding, born out of confusing statements from public-health authorities and misleading media headlines, is a shame. It is resulting in unnecessary fear among vaccinated people, all the while undermining the publics understanding of the importanceand effectivenessof getting vaccinated.

So let me make one thing clear: Vaccinated people are not as likely to spread the coronavirus as the unvaccinated. Even in the United States, where more than half of the population is fully vaccinated, the unvaccinated are responsible for the overwhelming majority of transmission.

Read: Post-vax COVID is a new disease

I understand why people are confused. In April, after months of public-health experts cautiously promoting the merits of vaccination, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky cited new real-world data of the shots effectiveness to jubilantly proclaim that vaccinated people do not carry the virus. The CDC later walked back her comment, but headlines such as Its Official: Vaccinated People Dont Transmit COVID-19 had already given many the impression that in addition to their remarkable protection against infection with the coronavirus, the shots also prevented them from passing the illness on to others.

Scientists and researchers objected, warning that there werent enough data to support such a proclamation. Their concerns were prescient. As Delta first took hold early this summer and then quickly spread, our collective relief turned into dejection.

An outbreak in Provincetown, Massachusettsin which 74 percent of the 469 cases were in the fully vaccinatedforced the CDC to update its mask guidance and issue a sad and sobering warning: Vaccinated people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant can be just as contagious as unvaccinated people.

In the aftermath of the Provincetown announcement, many who had gotten their shots were confused about what the news meant for them, especially when headlines seemed to imply that vaccinated individuals are as likely to contract and transmit COVID-19 as the unvaccinated. But this framing missed the single most important factor in spreading the coronavirus: To spread the coronavirus, you have to have the coronavirus. And vaccinated people are far less likely to have the coronavirusperiod. If this was mentioned at all, it was treated as an afterthought.

Despite concern about waning immunity, vaccines provide the best protection against infection. And if someone isnt infected, they cant spread the coronavirus. Its truly that simple. Additionally, for those instances of a vaccinated person getting a breakthrough case, yes, they can be as infectious as an unvaccinated person. But they are likely contagious for a shorter period of time when compared with the unvaccinated, and they may harbor less infectious virus overall.

Thats why getting more people their shots is crucial for controlling the spread of the coronavirus: Every vaccinated person helps limit the viruss ability to hide, replicate, and propagate.

Among the unvaccinated, the virus travels unhindered on a highway with multiple off-ramps and refueling stations. In the vaccinated, it gets lost in a maze of dead-end streets and cul-de-sacs. Every so often, it pieces together an escape route, but in most scenarios, it finds itself cut off, and its journey ends. It can go no further.

This is borne out by recent data from New York City that show that more than 96 percent of cases are among the unvaccinated. Only 0.33 percent of fully vaccinated New Yorkers have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

To highlight what this means in the real world, imagine two weddings with 100 guests, one where everyone is unvaccinated and another where all the guests are vaccinated.

In the unvaccinated wedding group, the likelihood that at least one of the guests has COVID-19 is high. Similarly, everyone present is more susceptible, and the virus will likely infect many others, given the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant.

At the wedding with exclusively vaccinated attendees, however, the likelihood that anyone present has COVID-19 is minuscule. Even if someone present is infected, the likelihood that the other guests will contract the virus is similarly low, given the protection afforded by their shots.

This is exactly why vaccine mandates are so importantand why going to events that exclude unvaccinated people is much, much safer than those that are open to all. Everyone knows that the vaccines help protect each individual who gets their shots. But when more people get vaccinated, this helps keep everyone else (including children and others ineligible for vaccination) safe as well.

Its worth acknowledging that even though the vaccines are our best protectionand still do what we need them to do very welltheyre not perfect. Vaccinated individuals can experience breakthrough infections, and when they do, they can potentially infect others. Some may also develop long COVID, although thankfully the shots dramatically lower this risk too. These reasons are exactly why, in many circumstances, mitigation measures such as masking and mandates still make sense to help limit the spread, even for the vaccinated.

As an emergency-medicine physician, Ive seen firsthand the vaccines dramatic role in reducing severe outcomes from a virus that flooded my emergency room early in the pandemic. And as a member of one of the first groups vaccinated in the rollout, I was kept safe by the shots while I cared for patients, and they prevented me from bringing the virus home to my family.

Craig Spencer: Relax, America: the vaccines are still working

But ultimately, a COVID-19 diagnosis in someone close to me is what highlighted why the assertion that the vaccinated are as likely to spread the coronavirus as the unvaccinated is so wrong.

Recently my cousin contacted me when her daughter tested positive for COVID-19. Her daughter fell ill just weeks before her 12th birthday, when she wouldve been eligible for a vaccine. My fully vaccinated cousin spent nearly every moment at her sidealways indoors and usually unmaskedyet never fell ill herself.

The vaccine seems to be working. Its magic! she texted me. Before getting her shots, she would have almost certainly been infected, and likely passed it on to others. But the vaccine broke the chain of transmission. My cousin never spread her daughters COVID-19 to anyone because she never caught it.


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Coronavirus in Ohio Thursday update: nearly 7,500 new cases, 300 new hospitalizations – NBC4 WCMH-TV

Coronavirus in Ohio Thursday update: nearly 7,500 new cases, 300 new hospitalizations – NBC4 WCMH-TV

September 23, 2021

COLUMBUS (WCMH) Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff announced the Ohio Vax-to-School program at a press conference Thursday.

The incentive program is for all vaccinated Ohioans ages 12 to 25. They can enter a drawing for one of five $100,000 scholarships. There are also 50 scholarships of $10,000 available.

The Ohio Lottery will release further details in the coming week. Funds come from existing COVID-19 relief dollars.

As of Thursday, Sept. 23, a total of 1,373,275 (+7,475) cases have been reported since the start of the pandemic, leading to 71,301 (+300) hospitalizations and 9,326 (+24) ICU admissions.A total of 6,262,492 Ohioans 53.58% of the states population has started the vaccination process. Thats an increase of 8,711 from the previous day.

The 21-day case average for Ohio is now over 6,500, as some Ohio intensive care units arerunning out of beds.

DeWine expressed concern over increasing hospitalizations among Ohioans 49 and younger, with nearly 400 the week of Sept. 5, and the vast majority of patients were unvaccinated. He said that in August, on average two people younger than 50 died of COVID-19 every day.

DeWine spoke with medical officials from around the state, who said in addition to COVID-19 patients filling hospitals that they are starting to see staffing issues, making caring for those patients difficult.

The Department of Health reported 125 deaths, Tuesday, bringing the total to 21,596. The state is updating the number only after death certificates have been processed, usually twice a week.

Ohio recorded9,019coronavirus cases Sept. 10, the most during the Delta wave. It was the highest one-day total since Jan. 8 (9,535).

Just 17 days in the entire pandemic has Ohio seen 9,000 cases, and only 10 days have seen more than 10,000. The states highest one-day total was set on Nov. 23 with 11,885 cases.


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Coronavirus in Ohio Thursday update: nearly 7,500 new cases, 300 new hospitalizations - NBC4 WCMH-TV
Heres why your next coronavirus test might not be covered by insurance – SILive.com

Heres why your next coronavirus test might not be covered by insurance – SILive.com

September 23, 2021

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Did you receive an unexpected bill for your most recent coronavirus (COVID-19) test? Youre not the only one.

In the majority of cases, insurance companies are federally mandated to cover all costs associated with coronavirus testing.

However, there are some exceptions to the rules that could result in Americans paying hundreds, or in some cases thousands, of dollars for routine coronavirus tests.

Under the federal guidance, insurance companies are required to cover all associated costs of medically-necessary coronavirus testing, even if a patient is asymptomatic and has had no known exposure to the virus.

This guidance makes clear that private group health plans and issuers generally cannot use medical screening criteria to deny coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic tests for individuals with health coverage who are asymptomatic, and who have no known or suspected exposure to COVID-19. Such testing must be covered without cost sharing, prior authorization, or other medical management requirements imposed by the plan or issuer, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Even if an individual is asymptomatic and has had no known exposure to virus, the test will be deemed medically-necessary following an individualized clinical assessment.

For example, covered individuals wanting to ensure they are COVID-19 negative prior to visiting a family member would be able to be tested without paying cost-sharing, the CMS says.

The guidance also states that insurers must cover all medically-necessary point-of-care coronavirus tests and tests taken at state or locally administered testing sites.

However, the guidance clearly states that insurance companies are not required to cover all costs for coronavirus tests related to public health surveillance programs or return-to-work requirements.

Plans and issuers are not required to provide coverage of testing such as for public health surveillance or employment purposes. But there is also no prohibition or limitation on plans and issuers providing coverage for such tests. Plans and issuers are encouraged to ensure communications about the circumstances in which testing is covered are clear, according to the guidance.

With many Americans now returning to the office, and weekly coronavirus testing set to be required for unvaccinated workers in the majority of work settings, millions of unvaccinated residents could be forced to pay out-of-pocket for the coronavirus tests theyll need in order to keep their job.

Such limits mean some patients with health coverage may nonetheless receive bills for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and related services, and those bills often can be widely different from patient to patient, according to a recent study from the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker.

The study conducted an analysis of the costs of coronavirus tests across the country, finding that prices ranged drastically from as low as $20 to as high as $1,419 for a single diagnostic test.

Nearly half, 47%, of tests ranged between $100 and $199, but one in five, 20%, were priced at $300 or more, according to the study.

Those costs could start to pile up for unvaccinated workers who require weekly screenings if their insurance company elects not to cover the costs of the tests.

A New York Times report found that insurance companies have generally been willing to cover the costs of these employer-mandated tests, but that could soon change.

If they are starting to see a significant number of people who have these tests submitted every week, or twice a week, under federal law they would be within their authority to say, this looks like routine workplace testing, and not cover it, Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at Georgetown Universitys Center on Health Insurance Reforms, told the Times.


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Heres why your next coronavirus test might not be covered by insurance - SILive.com
2 more Mainers have died and another 716 coronavirus cases reported across the state – Bangor Daily News

2 more Mainers have died and another 716 coronavirus cases reported across the state – Bangor Daily News

September 23, 2021

Two more Mainers have died as health officials on Thursday reported another 716coronavirus cases across the state.

Thursdays report brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Maine to 85,872,according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Thats up from 85,156 on Wednesday.

Of those, 61,463have been confirmed positive, while 24,409were classified as probable cases, the Maine CDC reported.

A man and a woman in their 40s and 50s from Hancock and Penobscot counties have succumbed to the virus, bringing the statewide death toll to 1,009.

The number of coronavirus cases diagnosed in the past 14 days statewide is 6,449. This is an estimation of the current number of active cases in the state, as the Maine CDC is no longer tracking recoveries for all patients. Thats up from 6.353 on Wednesday.

The new case rate statewide Thursday was 5.35 cases per 10,000 residents, and the total case rate statewide was 641.60.

Maines seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is 467.4, up from 458.4 the day before, up from 455.6 a week ago and up from 162.3 a month ago. That average peaked on Jan. 14 at 625.3.

The most cases have been detected in Mainers younger than 20, while Mainers over 80 years old make up the majority of deaths. More cases and deaths have been recorded in women than men.

So far, 2,441 Mainers have been hospitalized at some point with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. Of those, 221 are currently hospitalized, with 83 in critical care and 37 on a ventilator. Overall, 47 out of 341 critical care beds and 190 out of 295 ventilators are available.

The total statewide hospitalization rate on Thursday was 18.24 patients per 10,000 residents.

Cases have been reported in Androscoggin (9,387), Aroostook (3,034), Cumberland (19,712), Franklin (1,748), Hancock (2,049), Kennebec (7,979), Knox (1,527), Lincoln (1,486), Oxford (4,209), Penobscot (9,717), Piscataquis (1,011), Sagadahoc (1,680), Somerset (3,235), Waldo (1,953), Washington (1,264) and York (15,880) counties. Information about where an additional case was reported wasnt immediately available.

An additional 733 vaccine doses were administered in the previous 24 hours. As of Thursday, 865,783 Mainers are fully vaccinated, or about 73.1 percent of eligible Mainers, according to the Maine CDC.

As of Thursday morning, the coronavirus had sickened 42,547,004people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as caused 681,222deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

More articles from the BDN


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2 more Mainers have died and another 716 coronavirus cases reported across the state - Bangor Daily News
Dozens of detainees at Wyatt Detention Center infected in coronavirus outbreak – The Providence Journal

Dozens of detainees at Wyatt Detention Center infected in coronavirus outbreak – The Providence Journal

September 23, 2021

CENTRAL FALLS Dozens of detainees and a handful of staff members at the Wyatt Detention Center have tested positive for COVID-19 thisweek, according to a statement from warden Daniel Martin.

So far, 50 detainees and seven staff members have tested positive, Martin said. Those cases were identified after one detaineetested positive at the end of last week, leading the facility to do more testing.

"We have been in contact with the RI Department of Health on our existing COVID protocols which include testing and quarantining every incoming detainee for 14 days, mandatory mask usage for staff and detainees, and thorough sanitization of common areas/surfaces," Martin wrote."We have added additional protocols based on RI DOH guidance which include ongoing, mandatory testing of detainees and staff, and not allowing detainees from different pods to come into contact with each other."

Vaccinations have been available to staff members and detainees at Wyatt since January.


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Birds Thrived In Urban Settings During Pandemic Lockdowns, New Research Finds : Coronavirus Updates – NPR

Birds Thrived In Urban Settings During Pandemic Lockdowns, New Research Finds : Coronavirus Updates – NPR

September 23, 2021

A bald eagle perches on a tree at Sunset Park in Rock Island, Ill., in March. A new study says that many species of birds increasingly moved into urban areas as human activity waned during the pandemic. Joel Lerner/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images hide caption

A bald eagle perches on a tree at Sunset Park in Rock Island, Ill., in March. A new study says that many species of birds increasingly moved into urban areas as human activity waned during the pandemic.

"Anthropause" is a word scientists have coined to describe the scaling back of human activity since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it's probably safe to say most people have found it uncomfortably restrictive, a new study published Wednesday suggests the pandemic has allowed many bird species to stretch their wings.

As people remained indoors, stopped commuting to work or hopping on passenger jets, the birds increasingly flew into urban areas they had previously shunned, according to findings published in Science Advances.

Michael Schrimpf, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Manitoba's Natural Resources Institute, and his colleagues used information gathered on eBird, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's online database of detailed bird sightings reported by citizen scientists. They compared records of sightings of 82 bird species, a total of 4.3 million individual birds, in Canada and the United States from March through May 2020 when many cities were in full coronavirus lockdown with the same period for 2017 through 2019.

"Everything from birds like hawks and eagles all the way down to small songbirds and even hummingbirds," Schrimpf tells NPR.

They found bird sightings increased near roads and airports during the pandemic. Overall, 80% of the bird species studied showed changes in their counts in urban areas in the 2020 time frame with most of them increasing on the order of 10% to 20%.

"The actual physical environment didn't change," Schrimpf notes. "There were still buildings, there were still roads. You know, there weren't vast tracts of new forest in these urban areas."

He says, "What did change was the activity of people in those spaces."

Schrimpf explains that the results don't suggest greater numbers of actual birds, but that "the birds that people were seeing were basically birds that would have been in other places instead showed up in places that are more regularly trafficked by people."

In fact, an estimate published in 2019 concluded that North America has lost about 3 billion birds since the 1970s, or nearly a third of all breeding birds.

In the latest research, just over a quarter of the bird species studied showed mixed trends, with a few, such as house sparrows and the type of pigeon typically seen around cities, spotted less often in urban areas during the pandemic.

Another caveat: It's possible that birds moved into some areas during the pandemic because they were relatively quiet and free from human activity. But as Schrimpf explains, "if a bird shows up there, but it didn't come along with, say, the right kind of food ... or if a predator like a coyote or a raccoon was also attracted to those areas because of lack of activity, what looks like a haven for a bird might wind up being a dangerous place."

The trend noted in the latest study is not just for the birds, either. A paper published last year in Nature noted: "Anecdotal observations indicate that many animal species are enjoying the newly afforded peace and quiet, while others, surprisingly, seem to have come under increased pressure."

It's difficult to say what will happen once the pandemic and the lockdowns are finally over, but Schrimpf says he is optimistic.

"We hope that it might be a lesson for us that we can take away in a post-pandemic world," he says, suggesting that people who prefer to continue working remotely might even use "helping the birds" as a rationale.

"I think that there is an opportunity to adjust how we live, to slow down," he says. "For example, if people that could work from home, maybe not all the time, but you know, a couple of days a week, that could reduce our human activity."


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Active coronavirus cases take another steep decline in Ulster – The Daily Freeman

Active coronavirus cases take another steep decline in Ulster – The Daily Freeman

September 23, 2021

KINGSTON, N.Y. Ulster County reported another steep decline in active COVID-19 cases on Thursday, according to the governments coronavirus online dashboard.

During a Facebook live stream briefing on Thursday, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said he was encouraged by the active case downward trend.

However, he also continued the push for vaccinations and mask-wearing, the two primary ways to prevent the spread of the delta variant.

Ryan said that there were 14 Ulster County residents hospitalized with the disease, with two of them in intensive care units. That number, he said, is one more than what he reported on Thursday, Sept. 16.

Ryan said that the county is awaiting word from federal officials on just how to proceed with booster shots. However, he said, the county is prepared to administer those shots at the former Best Buy store at the Hudson Valley mall where a vaccination center has been set up.

Here are the latest local COVID-19 statistics.

Ulster County: 516 reported Thursday down 60 from the previous day. (Peak was 2,622 on Jan. 30.)

Dutchess County: 659 reported Thursday, unchanged from the previous day. (Peak was 2,576 on Jan. 16.)

Ulster County: 3%.

Dutchess County:3.792%

Pandemic history

Ulster County: 17,966 confirmed cases, 17,173 recoveries, 277 deaths. (No new deaths reported Thursday.)

Dutchess County: 33,770 confirmed cases, 34 hospitalizations, 484 deaths. (No new death reported Thursday.)

Vaccination rates

Statistics are as of Thursday, according to New York states online vaccine tracker.

Ulster County: 64.1% of the population fully vaccinated, 70.9% with at least one dose of a two-dose regimen, 81% of the 18-and-older population with at least one dose.

Dutchess County: 59% fully vaccinated, 66.1% with at least one dose of a two-dose regimen, 76.3% of the 18+ population with at least one dose.

COVID cases in school districts:

Kingston: One student at J. Watson Bailey MiddleSchool, M. Clifford Miller School and Kingston High School.

Saugerties: One student at Grant D. Morse Elementary School.

New York state did not update Thursday its COVID-19 Report Card.

Appointments: vaccinateulster.com, bit.ly/dut-vax, bit.ly/ny-vaxme.

For online local coverage related to the coronavirus, go to dailyfreeman.com/tag/coronavirus.


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