Majority of hospitalized Sullivan County COVID cases not vaccinated

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MONTICELLO – Starting today (Monday), Sullivan County Public Health will discontinue COVID-19 contact tracing until otherwise directed by the State Department of Health for high-risk congregate settings.

“Public Health still encourages those who test positive for COVID-19 to isolate themselves and notify their close contacts that they may have been exposed,” said Public Health Director Nancy McGraw. “However, due to the extremely high number of cases, we have determined that contact tracing does not provide meaningful support in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Sullivan County at this moment, with the exception of those in congregate settings such as schools, nursing homes, group homes, and incarceration facilities.”

McGraw said one important concept in the county’s strategy has not changed – vaccines have proven to be very safe and highly effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalization from all COVID-19 variants.

“As of January 5, less than 25 percent of the patients admitted to Garnet-Catskills who test positive for COVID-19 reported being fully vaccinated – 75-80 percent were either unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or did not report their status,” she said. “We encourage everyone 5 and older to obtain a vaccine as soon as possible. If it has been more than 6 months since your original vaccine series, you should also obtain a booster.”