County, CDC raises local COVID-19 health alert level after recent uptick in cases

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ITHACA, N.Y.—The Facilities for Illness Management and Tompkins County have each raised the COVID-19 well being alert stage to “medium” from “low” after the most recent aggressive variant of the coronavirus has grow to be essentially the most prevalent type of COVID-19 in New York. There was no up to date masking coverage accompanying the announcement (Tompkins County’s masks advisory was dropped in June 2022), however officers inspired the general public to obtain up to date booster pictures of the vaccine.

The announcement comes after the Omicron XBB.1.5 variant has overtaken different variants in New York, now representing 55 % of whole circumstances in New York, in accordance with the Tompkins County Division of Complete Well being. Most of central and western New York is now in a “medium” stage of group unfold of COVID-19. XBB.1.5 is the most recent variant to grow to be extra transmissible than earlier iterations of COVID.

In Tompkins County particularly, there have been 80 optimistic circumstances final week, a slight drop from the week prior. In response to the entire well being division, there have been a few dozen folks admitted to the hospital final week with COVID-19, however that present COVID-19 sufferers are solely taking on 3.9 % of the hospital’s mattress capability.

During the last two years, January has typically been a foul month for Tompkins County, as vacation gatherings trigger extra circumstances and an inflow of inhabitants as college students return from winter break to Cornell College and Ithaca Faculty each usually trigger optimistic case numbers to soar. The affect hasn’t appeared as intense this yr as final, although testing has additionally vastly decreased domestically.

Dr. William Klepack, TCWH Medical Director acknowledged, “It’s crucial to remain updated on vaccination to stop extreme sickness, hospitalization and dying. COVID-19 boosters are efficient at lowering severity of sickness from present strains of the COVID-19 virus. Everybody ages 6 months and older ought to be vaccinated. In case you have not but been vaccinated, now’s the time to take action.”

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