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What’s behind spike in Jefferson County COVID cases?

Updated: Apr. 23, 2021 at 6:01 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Jefferson County reported 105 new COVID cases between Tuesday and Thursday of this week.

One person died over the weekend.

The case numbers came after a quiet period for the county.

“We had a long period of time that we did not report a death. We had weeks without reporting a death,” said Scott Gray, chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators.

What’s behind the increase?

Gray points to two things - “Younger people, plus gatherings.”

The number of new cases was low, he says, because of an all-out vaccine effort, which saw 63 percent of the county’s residents get at least one shot.

Now Gray wants to see the younger crowd, more recently eligible, sign up to get immunized.

And he is generally optimistic - Gray says if the vaccination efforts continue going strong, there could come a time where the county doesn’t have to report COVID numbers any more.

“It was uncontrolled before. So we were reporting the numbers. But now there’s means of being able to mitigate this whole situation. And vaccination is the means to do that,” Gray said.

According to Gray, the shots are doing what they should.

“It’s very rare that we see a vaccinated person come down with COVID,” he said. Still, while the vaccine roll out continues, he’s urging people to avoid large gatherings and follow health and safety measures to make sure numbers stay low.

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