County officials credit vaccines with lowering COVID numbers

Published: Jun. 4, 2021 at 6:38 PM EDT
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LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - On October 16, 2020, Lewis County reported zero COVID cases, something that didn’t happen again all pandemic.

Until on Thursday, when it became a surprise for the county manager.

“It seems like we have had one case every day, so I thought it was going to be further back to March,” county manager Ryan Piche said, “but it makes sense, you know, we made it through last summer with relatively low positivity rates.”

Lower numbers are now a trend for the tri-county region. On Wednesday, there were 11 reported COVID cases. Thursday’s total was five. Piche says it’s all the proof he needs.

“It’s that vaccinations work,” he said. “I mean, that is what people need to understand. The more people we get vaccinated in this community, the less COVID we are going to have. It’s a direct one-to-one relationship.

Looking at St. Lawrence County’s number – one lone new case reported Thursday – is bringing happier emotions to the county’s Public Health Department

“We were all pleasantly surprised and happy around here,” interim director Jolene Munger said. “We are waiting for the day where we get zero cases for the day and zero hospitalizations.”

Almost half of St. Lawrence County’s eligible population has had at least one vaccine dose. That number is expected to go up with the county’s expanded effort to vaccinate 12- to 17-year-olds.

“We did 17 school districts at 12 schools, so we had five schools that were willing to bus their students to another school,” Munger said, “and then we also hosted a full day Saturday for adolescents and we did just about 800 kids at our clinic.”

The numbers have also stayed low in Jefferson County., a combined cases reported on Wednesday and Thursday.

County Legislature chair Scott Gray says he hopes this will remove any further doubt people may have about getting the vaccine.

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