St. Lawrence County COVID cases on the rise

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 6:27 AM EDT
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CANTON, New York (WWNY) - The North Country leads the state in people getting COVID-19 and most of its larger counties have vaccination rates well below the state average.

Six deaths on the holiday weekend and another Wednesday in St. Lawrence County. Concern grows as the toll from the delta variant of the virus adds up nationwide.

Ron McDougall, member North Country regional control room:

“It’s much more contagious,” said Ron McDougall, a member of the North Country regional control room. “And if you haven’t been vaccinated, it’s much more vicious.”

St. Lawrence County has six times the active cases it did just one month ago: 537 in all. Its vaccination rate has stagnated well below the state average.

“We are working to try and encourage, especially schools right now, if you want a normal school year the best way to do that is to get vaccinated,” interim Public Health director Jolene Munger said.

As to the recent deaths, Munger said the county is maintaining its policy of not giving out any personal information on fatalities. And that now includes vaccination status.

Right now, no one wants to go back to the lockdowns of last year, but mask mandates and other measures could be expanded if COVID-19 continues to get worse.

St. Lawrence County has a COVID-19 positive test rate well above the state average. The North Country as a whole has the state’s highest.

On Monday, the state health commissioner declared all of New York State “high transmission” for the disease.

“We still don’t know what that means for us,” Munger said.

There are now more than 1,200 people either in quarantine or isolation in St. Lawrence County.

That could soon have implications for the ability of workplaces to function.

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