A Cayuga County woman has died of COVID-19, the second virus-related fatality in October and the 105th since the pandemic began in March 2020.
The woman was in her 70s and tested positive for COVID-19 prior to her death, according to the Cayuga County Health Department. No other information, including whether she was vaccinated, was released.
It is the 15th COVID-related death amid the recent surge in cases. Since Aug. 1, the county has reported 2,223 confirmed COVID-19 cases. While there has been an uptick in hospitalizations, the death toll has been low compared to the wave last winter when there were 4,000 cases over a two-month period and 74 residents died.
One reason this wave hasn't been as deadly is the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 53% of Cayuga County residents are fully vaccinated and 56.1% have received at least one vaccine dose. The vaccination rate is higher among adults ages 65 and older (77.1% are fully vaccinated).
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The three vaccines — Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer — are highly effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death. But there have been cases involving fully vaccinated people who are either hospitalized with severe symptoms or die due to COVID-19. These individuals typically have underlying health conditions. Nearly 92% of New York's 45,045 confirmed COVID-19 fatalities had at least one comorbidity.
The health department reported that 23 residents are hospitalized with COVID-19. Sixteen of the patients are vaccinated. Nineteen are age 60 or older. The youngest patient is in their 40s. Three are in their 50s.
Hospitalizations haven't changed over the past three days. After a brief decline nearly two weeks ago, more residents entered area hospitals to seek treatment for COVID-19.
There were 29 new cases on Thursday, 16 of which were unvaccinated. Cayuga County has 248 active cases, up from 246 on Wednesday. Active cases also began to dip early this month but have increased again over the last week.
Vaccination clinic news:
• The health department will hold a vaccination clinic from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Fingerlakes Mall. To get your shot, you must register for an appointment at cayugacounty.us/health.
A second clinic has been scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 23, at Fingerlakes Mall. An appointment is required and residents can register on the department's website.
Both clinics will be held in the former Jo-Ann Fabric store in the mall. To enter the clinic, use the outside door. Signs will be posted to the left of Bass Pro Shop.
The three vaccines will be offered at the clinic. Children ages 12 to 17 may receive the Pfizer vaccine. Any child who gets vaccinated will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. The incentive is part of the state's #VaxtoSchool campaign.
• Anyone who needs assistance registering online for vaccination clinics should contact the Cayuga Community Health Network at (315) 252-4212. The network can assist residents with scheduling appointments.
Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.