After experiencing a slight spike in COVID-19 cases earlier in the week, the Hudson Valley region’s seven-day infection rate dropped to nearly 2% – making the Hudson Valley the region with the second-lowest COVID-19 infection rate in New York State.
The Hudson Valley’s COVID-19 infection rate is 2.02%, a 0.5% drop from last week’s rate. Overall, New York State tallied a 2.46% infection rate on Oct. 17 and a 2.20% rate on Oct. 21. 25 people died from COVID-19 this week, including two from Ulster County.
As of Oct. 26, Ulster County’s COVID-19 Dashboard read that 83.2% of residents ages 18+ had received at least one dose of the vaccine. The same dashboard also read that there are 240 active COVID-19 cases in the county.
Early this semester, SUNY New Paltz announced it’s vaccine mandate for students and faculty on campus. An article posted by the school on Oct. 15 stated that “More than 97% of our students have shown proof that they are fully vaccinated… The small number of students who are not fully vaccinated have either been approved for a medical or religious exemption or are taking a fully online course schedule and have signed an attestation that they are not coming to campus for any reason.”
Although the vaccination rate has increased, New Paltz is also concerned about another virus this time of year – the flu. The impending flu season raises concerns because the flu has many of the same symptoms as COVID-19 which implies that someone may think they have the flu but in reality have COVID-19 or vise-versa.
Some of the most common symptoms of both COVID-19 and the flu are cough, fatigue, dry throat, muscle aches, runny/dry nose and fever. However, a symptom of COVID-19 that the flu does not have is the loss of taste or smell. COVID-19 symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after exposure where flu symptoms typically appear one to four days after exposure.
According to a flu vaccine information sheet provided by New Paltz, “CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated every flu season. Children 6 months through 8 years of age may need 2 doses during a single flu season. Everyone else needs only 1 dose each flu season.”
As a result, New Paltz has heavily encouraged students to get a flu shot, going as far as having a vaccination site on campus where students can sign up to receive their shot. Students received an email from campus with all the information regarding the shot including the paperwork needed by the health office before one can make an appointment to receive their shot.
On-campus flu-shot sites will be available to students with the help of Dedrick’s Pharmacy on Friday Oct. 29, Friday Nov. 12 and Friday Nov. 19 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Students must fill out all the medical forms and send a copy of their insurance card to the health center prior to making an appointment. All the information regarding on-campus flu vaccines can be found on an email from health services sent on Monday Oct. 18. Additional information can be found at https://www.newpaltz.edu/healthcenter/flu-clinics-2021-2022/.