Liberty, NY – With COVID-19 cases spiking dramatically in Sullivan County this week, Public Health Director Nancy McGraw is urgently encouraging residents to stay masked in close public quarters and to get themselves and their families fully vaccinated.
“We’re seeing cases climb very fast, consistent with much of the rest of the nation,” noted McGraw. “The most serious of these cases continue to be unvaccinated people, who remain far more vulnerable to coronavirus than those who have been vaccinated.”
The New York State Department of Health has been closely monitoring hospitalization rates, noting that fully vaccinated New Yorkers have an 89.8% lower chance of being hospitalized with COVID-19 than those who are unvaccinated.
We continue to urge vaccination, so that people are reasonably protected and our healthcare system is not overwhelmed. In addition, taking your chances of getting COVID-19 by not getting vaccinated puts you at higher risk of long-term health complications and possible disability from long-COVID,” McGraw explained.
“At the very least,” she added, “everyone should be wearing masks when they cannot socially distance from others (six feet or farther away). Masks are proven to greatly reduce chances of infection, not only of coronavirus, but other transmissible diseases like the flu.”
Where to Get Vaccinated
Sullivan County continues to update its website with Public Health clinics, which can be viewed (and registered for) at https://sullivanny.us/Departments/Publichealth/COVIDvaccines/clinics. The page also provides a link to other area vaccine providers that may have more convenient times and locations.
Currently, Public Health has pediatric clinics (ages 5-11) set for 3-6 p.m. at the RJK Middle School in Monticello on December 20 and Public Health Services’ Gladys Olmsted Building in Liberty on December 22; and booster clinics scheduled for December 8 (1-5 p.m.) and December 29 (3-5 p.m.) at the Olmsted Building. Booster shots do not have to match the brand of the original dosage but are only available to those over 18.
“At this point, it appears Omicron is highly transmissible but fairly mild in symptoms,” she explained. “However, we don’t yet know how it will behave in our population and if current vaccines will be effective against it. So we’ll have more to share as we are notified by the NYS Department of Health.”